Thanksgiving 2017 – Part I
2017 has been a trying year. I can’t say it has been bad, but it has been a constant challenge. Some of those challenges have created chaos, fear and worry. Other challenges have, despite their nature, brought about profound blessings. Joe and I have grown more as a couple in the last 18 months than we did the first 12 years of our marriage. That growth came through the challenges.
It is early in the morning here. I just finished putting a turkey on and still have not made my to coffee. Christmas instrumental music softly fills my home with an accompanying glow of Christmas lights on through the house. At the moment, there is no bustle of preparation. It is my quiet time of reflection. My thoughts are overwhelmingly on my sister Jaime and her husband Lenny. Though I am eager to spend time with niece and nephew, their absence is felt deeply.
A few weeks ago my brother-in-law was crushed between two forklifts. I will not share all the details, because that is their story to tell. What I can tell you, is that his injury has made all of us rethink what we consider important. Nothing is promised from one day to the next. This is an evil world and terrible things happen that we do not understand. Before you tell me about God’s hand in this…God did not cause the accident, he has caused healing. God is not punishing anyone. God is a good father. Would a good father hurt his children intentionally? No.
The bible does tell us that God works things together for our good. God can use a situation like this and let people grow. Lenny and Jaime are growing. My Mom shared with me about a private moment when Lenny took her hand and prayed. She said he seemed surprised that peace overtook him. I still get a little giddy to hear my husband pray when we have devotions. I have been front line to watch my husband’s faith grow. I listened as he comforted Lenny on the phone with reassurance that God was working. Likewise I am hearing things about my sister and her husband that suggest they are growing too.
Mom has long had a Charles Swindol quote on her fridge about attitude. It says “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” It sounds too simple. It sounds too easy. However, the longer I live the more I see this as truth. Soft answers DO turn away wrath. A positive, powerful, prayerful attitude can accomplish anything…with the tiniest seed of faith.
Thanksgiving day is just beginning. I am the only one awake in my house. As I prep some coffee and slip into my favorite chair for my quiet time in God’s word and prayer – my heart is bursting with joy. No, things in my world are not perfect, they are challenging. I have my family, my dearest friends and list of blessings that I can scarce believe. So as your day unfolds, focus on the blessings. Don’t worry about the guys falling asleep watching football, babies crying, kids arguing, or adults acting like children. If the food is not perfect, be grateful it is edible. Better yet, be thankful you have food. Be thankful for the people in your life. Be thankful that God works any situation out for your good and His glory.
Do not miss the meaning of this day…Giving Thanks.
Happy Thanksgiving one and all!