Just about the time the predawn light creeps over the eastern horizon on Thanksgiving morning, I’ll bundle up against the cold and slip out the door.
Waiting for me in our outdoor fire circle are meticulously stacked piles of hickory wood, prepared the day before. Carefully cradling my precious mug of coffee, I’ll light the fire that will lead, in a few hours, to a delicious smoked turkey.
Once I start the hickory burning, I’ll settle in with my coffee and feel the warmth of the growing fire wash over me. Once it is light enough to read, I’ll open my Bible, but for now, it’s just my Father and me. This is one of my favorite times of the whole year … this time by the fire early on Thanksgiving morning. A time to be thankful for what I have by God’s amazing grace.
By the time I’ve refilled my mug a couple or three times, the sun will stream through the bare trees nestled to the east. The coals at the heart of the fire will glow and shimmer with heat. This is the signal to load the firebox on the smoker with hot hickory coals and then retrieve the turkey, prepared the night before. Settling the bird on the top rack and a large bowl of apple cider on the bottom shelf, the cider will steam up into the turkey as the heat increases—keeping it moist and adding another layer of flavor.
And with that, for the most part, my contribution is done. Oh, I’ll keep adding hickory logs to the fire and hot hickory coals to the firebox, but the turkey is on its own now, cooking slowly in the hickory smoke. In eight hours or so, it will be ready.
Thanksgiving will spin on. Charlotte will prepare the side dishes and desserts she does so well. Parades and football will be on television. Family and friends will filter in. But for me, the best part of Thanksgiving will be the quiet communion I have with my Father before the sun comes up. The rest of the day is just whipped cream on the pumpkin pie.
Don’t forget to give God thanks this Thanksgiving.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)