A little Thanksgiving thought for today from an often overlooked place in Scripture...
Nehemiah 11:17 describes a man that was a part of the restoration of Jerusalem; "Mattaniah son of Mika, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, the director who led in thanksgiving and prayer..."
Who was Mattaniah?
First, his name means "gift." This means that when Mattaniah was born, Mica, his father, looked at him and thought of the best name that he could think of to represent this child and here we see that Mica named him Mattaniah, the "gift." Maybe this was Mica's first child. Maybe this was a harsh road pregnancy. Maybe Mica was so overwhelmed with the thought of being a father that he just had to proclaim my gift. Who is your gift in your life? Maybe you need to stop and recognize the gifts in your life, the Mattaniah's. The people that God has placed in your life to help you grow closer to Him and to know Him.
Next, look at Mattaniah's role. As the verse says he was, "the director who led in thanksgiving." You see Mattaniah, the "gift," didn't take his name as something of pride. Rather, he saw how he could be a blessing to others and to lead others to be grateful for the blessings in their own lives. You see thankful people help others to be thankful. Thankful people are grateful for the Mattaniah's but they also see the wonder of God's amazing grace and demonstrate what it means to be truly thankful! Let me ask you, are you thankful today? I hope your thankfulness isn't relegated to one specific day, rather be a director of thanksgiving.
Finally, see's Mattaniah's dependence. You can see how Mattaniah led not only in thanksgiving but he did it through prayer. Mattaniah called out to the Lord and he led others to do the same. What an amazing thought is that we recognize that all that we are to be grateful for is not credited to us, but it comes from our dependence on God. And every perfect gift comes from our heavenly Father. And remember that the greatest gift came through the salvation provided in Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection!
So don't miss out on this holiday time to stop and be a Mattaniah this Thanksgiving season!