In the United States, many of us are preparing for one of our oldest holidays: Thanksgiving. First established in 1789 by George Washington himself, Thanksgiving was intended to be a day of intentional celebration in thanks to the Almighty for His blessings.

In the 21st century, the holiday itself is almost completely overshadowed by the shopping frenzy of Black Friday – an ironic end to a feast of humble thanks and family gathering. The juxtaposition of these two days echoes the age-old struggle of balancing our faith with our heart’s desires.

Whether you’re looking at a new toy or a better job, wanting new things is part of being human. The pursuit of fulfillment in the world, however, can come between us and the Lord. The Bible tells us to prioritize our faith before anything else: “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 NKJV). Jesus later echoes this in Matthew 6:25-34 when He commands us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

 In keeping our hearts set on pleasing the Lord, our desires will align with His. When our eyes are on Him, the things that sparkle and glitter don’t pull on our hearts the same way. And God rewards us for it! We are promised provision and blessings, the desires of our hearts – although our hearts will desire different things once we seek God first. Make no mistake, God loves to bless His children, and as a good Father, He wants us to have truly fulfilling lives.

While we give remembrance for the things we’re thankful for, we can’t get so distracted by the pleasures of the world that we forget where our joy originates.  We are called to continuously pursue God first and keep Him at His rightful place in our hearts, whether we’re gathering together in celebration or living out our daily lives. Do this and see just how the Lord will surprise you in return!

–    Eszter Willard, Staff Writer