By Debra Whittington
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. Psalms 30:12
O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. Psalms 105:1-2
It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is upon us and that Christmas is right around the corner. In a moment of self-pity, I almost wished the holidays were over and done. Living through one of the most difficult years of my life made me feel less than thankful. As misery and woe started to swallow me up, I suddenly stopped to think. I have so much to be thankful for this year!
To begin with, I am alive and the gift of life is so precious. Not only doI have life, but also I have eternal life because of Jesus Christ. Right there is enough to keep me going the rest of my life if I don’t think about another thing to give thanks for. My list of things to give thanks for doesn’t end there, it’s only a beginning.
Backing up a little, I began to ponder the verse found in I Thessalonians 5:18 and wondered how a person could possibly give thanks for everything that happens. With so many bad things that happened this year, I didn’t feel very thankful. Then it hit me, I wasn’t giving thanks for the “bad” things, but giving thanks for how the Lord saw me through all of them and the good that resulted from what transpired.
An example of this began when Grandma passed away. There was no way I could give thanks for her death. Instead I started giving thanks for the things that resulted after her death. I gave thanks for the 97 years she lived on this earth and the fact I had her in my life for as long as I did Grandma’s funeral was a blessing because it gave me the opportunity to get to know family members I never met before. Experiencing the love of family at such a sad time made it a bittersweet time of family bonding together during a crisis.
Right before Grandma passed away, my brother lost his job. He lived in Louisiana but always wanted to return to New Mexico. Grandma’s house was left to him so he packed up and returned home and started fixing up her house. Soon, he found a new job. Things are starting to look up for him as he settles into a new life.
These are only a couple examples of how something good can come from something bad. There is an old saying that says to look for the silver lining in storm clouds. On the outside they are dark and gloomy. However from storm clouds comes moisture in the form of rain or snow that helps start a whole new cycle of life.
Thanksgiving Day is the perfect opportunity to give thanks although it shouldn’t take a date on the calendar to remind us. Thanksgiving needs to be a daily occurrence as we take stock of our lives and realize how much we actually have to be thankful for.
It would take days to list everything and if you are having trouble of thinking of things, let me recommend something that helps me. Using the alphabet, I start listing something I am thankful for using the letter ‘a’, such as the air I breathe.
Then, I move on to the letter ‘b’, and so on. With a little thought, I can think of something for every letter of the alphabet including ‘x’ of which I am thankful for the technology of x-rays. Each time I try this exercise I come up with more and more things to be thankful for.
Some people have a problem with being alone on Thanksgiving Day. For those people the First Baptist Church is hosting a free Thanksgiving Dinner for the community. It is a wonderful time to visit with others and share the joy of the holiday. For those who are homebound, members of the church will deliver meals to the home. (Call the church office at 461-2724 to make arrangements). Several years I helped deliver meals to the shut-ins and I was so blessed to visit with these dear people.
Thanksgiving may be a date on the calendar, but should be much more for all of us. It needs to be everyday when we can truly give thanks for everything. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!