With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread.
A few years ago, I happened to be reading through Leviticus with a reading plan around Thanksgiving. I had already recently read through Exodus and so, the symbolism of leavened bread representing impurity and evil was fresh on my mind. I was reading through all the red tape of the laws without a lot of thought, honestly, until I go to the part of the thank (or peace) offering. “present his offering with cakes of leavened bread”
I was so surprised to see God not only allowing leaven in His offerings, but requiring it. It was the first time I had seen this at all. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made, but the harder it was to swallow. In offering up a symbol of thankfulness and continuing the relationship of peace between the person and God, you had to remember not just the good but the bad too. And ya know, that can just be hard to do. Sometimes, we like to think of Thanksgiving and think of all the good parts of our past year, but God shows us in this how much we could also reap from remembering the hard parts too. Trials produce perseverance, which in turn builds character, and character forms hope, and hope never fails. Because that hope is from Him. (Rom 5:3-5)
So this year, as the big day of turkey and family creeps closer and you find yourself reflecting on your gratefulness, don’t forget to include those moments that you weren’t sure you’d make it through and the person you are now because of the hope of God and those hard times that began it all.