It was a scene I enacted on a daily basis as a farm kid; carrying big buckets of chicken feed to the henhouses each morning. As I entered each henhouse, the entire population of "chicken city" would come running toward me clucking and cackling in eager anticipation. They knew what I was carrying in my hands.
What a picture of God's children in relation to their heavenly Father. The psalmist says: "The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing" (Psalm 145:15-16 NKJV).
It would have been a simple matter for Old Testament readers to see the parallel between my opened hand and the open hand of the heavenly Father who provided richly for their daily needs. Theirs was a largely rural society.
Most of us today are living in an impersonal, largely mechanized, urban environment. Our children and grandchildren (and sometimes we) consider the local supermarket to be the ultimate source of food and drink and the department store or shopping mall the ultimate source of all of our necessities. Indeed, in our affluent secular society, we are in danger of simply taking all of our material blessings for granted.
How important that we, during this season of Thanksgiving, first recognize with gratitude the source of our daily sustenance, and, second, pass this knowledge along to our children and grandchildren.
We must constantly remind ourselves and those entrusted to our care to look beyond the supermarket, beyond the department store or shopping mall, to the opened hand of a heavenly Father who "so loved us" and still loves us, that he gave his only son to live and die for us - and, with him, continues "freely to give us all things" to support our body and life.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow; / Praise Him, all creatures here below; / Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; / Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!