Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Freedom From Want

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. Food, family, football, and shopping frenzies are some of the things associated with this holiday. However, this painting by Norman Rockwell is the image that pops into my head when I think of Thanksgiving. There's an abundance of good food on the table, multiple generations present, and smiles on every face of this one big happy family. There's a wholesome "God's in His heaven, all's right with the world"1 feel to this scene. Interestingly, the title of this painting is Freedom From Want.

I can relate to that. Who wouldn't want freedom from want? No want of material possessions, financial security, health, loving relationships, and happiness. But life rarely resembles a Norman Rockwell painting. Between the exile from Eden and Jesus' return, our families bear fresh wounds and old scars from this broken world. Hardship, estrangement, divorce, sickness, and death have taken their toll, and it hurts. Holidays like Thanksgiving often make the pain more acute because the longing for all to be well is yet to be met.

But even if we could be free from every earthly want, there's a need that goes much deeper. We were blind to it, blind to the sin that separated us from our holy Creator. But in love and mercy, God opened our eyes to see our true condition. The Holy Spirit came to us when we were dead and gave us life. He gave us faith to believe and put our trust in the only One who could pay the penalty for that sin and live the perfect life God requires.2 Jesus quenches our thirst3 and satisfies the hunger of our souls4, which gives fresh significance to the words, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."5

This comforts me when I am tempted to count my losses more than my blessings this time of year. Although life is not what I imagined it would be (and it never is), I regain perspective in light of the gospel. "My best life now" or deliverance from sin, salvation in Christ, and the promises of God? Fleeting happiness or joy that defies circumstances and sweetens every sorrow? No contest.

I'm also comforted by a scene no painting will ever capture - an unbroken family circle, the gathering of all the saints around the throne of God and of the Lamb. Every tear will be wiped away. There will no more sorrow, sickness, sin, or death. All that separated us from God will be gone, and wonder of wonders, we will see Him face to face and dwell with Him forever.6

What a never-ending Thanksgiving Day that will be. I can't wait.

1. Pippa's Song, Robert Browning
2. Eph. 2:1-10, 2 Cor. 5:21
3. John 4:13
4. John 6:48-51
5. Psalm 23:1
6. Rev. 21:1-4, Rev. 22:1-5


  1. Persis,
    Loved this post. LOVED this post. I needed it today. Thank you.
    Grace, Peace and Joy,

  2. I can't wait either. I am so excited for our future thanksgiving where we will all give Jesus the glory only He deserves.

  3. Great post! Reminds me of The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment! Oh, to be free from the tyranny of want!

  4. Amen, Persis! I LOVE this post. I, too am longing for that never-ending Thanksgiving Day! May we "regain perspective in light of the gospel"!

  5. What a day that will be Persis!. Truly, every family here on earth bears sorrow and of some kind. Thank you for this beautiful reminder of what awaits the family of God. Have a blessed day!

  6. Thanks, sisters and brother Gregg. I'm glad you were encouraged in the Lord. Have a blessed Thanksgiving giving praise and glory to our God!

  7. Amen! Thankful for the abundance of blessings we are given and also for the brokenness, which draws us ever closer and ever closer to God and His promise!

    Thanking God for you today!