If there is one word that describes the aftermath of Thanksgiving Day, it would be fullness! You know what I’m talking about. We indulge ourselves in a feast of delicious cuisine from roasted turkey with all the trimmings to colorful and delicious sides, and top it off with a smorgasbord of desserts fit for a king. It amazes me that it takes days, maybe weeks, to prepare such a meal—planning, shopping, baking, cooking, and serving. Yet, thirty minutes after our families gather around the table, all we have to show for our efforts are a heap of leftovers, a sink of dirty dishes—and fullness.
In reality, fullness is a two-sided coin. Certainly, it is a result of having enjoyed plenty of the foods we love and that bring back memories of past family gatherings. It is those favorite dishes that excite our taste buds as we linger long, savoring every bite. It’s our encounters with Grandma’s dressing or Aunt Susie’s famous pumpkin pie that inevitably causes us to lose all sense of restraint. After all, it only happens once a year.
But fullness also means that we’ve had plenty of other things as well. The joy of being with family brings an abundance of familiarity to our hearts. We are filled to the brim with gratitude for the fellowship of those we hold dear and who make this holiday warm and inviting. No one tells jokes like Uncle Ben or stories like Grandpa. It matters not that we’ve heard them before—they just never get old. And it is the fullness of life shared with those who mean much that intoxicates us and causes us to repeat the same process year after year. You see, there’s just no place like home with the family.
Did you know that the word fullness in the Bible? The Apostle Paul prayed that we would have it. In Ephesians 3:19, he wrote “that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” I don’t know what all that entails, but I sure would like to. I suspect, just like the fullness from our Thanksgiving celebrations, it means we have enjoyed God. We’ve lingered long, savoring every bite from His Word. It is our encounters with His Presence that cause us to lose all restraint when worshipping and praising Him.
There is also the fullness we feel when we gather with God’s family. We are filled to the brim with gratitude for the opportunity to be with those we hold dear and who make our fellowship warm and inviting. We love to hear their testimonies and stories of how God has blessed them, and us. It doesn’t matter if we’ve heard the stories many times over—they too just never get old. And yes, it is the fullness of the life of God shared with those who mean much that intoxicates us and causes us to do it over and over. You see, there’s just no place like home with God’s family either.
Regardless of how your family celebrated Thanksgiving, I trust that you came away with fullness, both physical and spiritual. I am personally seeking for all the fullness that Paul prayed for me to have and that God has to offer. I know that “eye has not seen nor ear heard….the things God has prepared for those who love Him” (I Cor. 2:9), but I am doing my best to see them and hear them this side of heaven. Someday, I hope to be filled with all the fullness of God that is possible for a human being. In the meantime, I plan to continue enjoying the fullness that comes from being with God, family, friends, and God’s people. I hope you do too. ~Janie Kellogg