By Leonard Lauriault
While traveling recently I met two ladies from the Carolinas who were flying home. The first one was returning to her husband in North Carolina after taking care of his sister in Albuquerque who was recovering from hip surgery. The other one was returning to South Carolina and was leaving her husband in Albuquerque so he could stay with his sister who had just lost her husband. These ladies had a lot in common, the most significant of which is that they had family.
As we approach the Thanksgiving/Christmas season, we’ll be reminded of the many great blessings we have as Christians and/or Americans. Family is among the greatest. Being part of a family gives a sense of belonging and ownership because we share in one another’s lives. While family members come and go, those that remain often become closer in their relationship.
I’ve had recent losses, as anyone has, and a recent addition with the birth of my grandson. I eagerly anticipate another addition in the near future. As part of that event, I also will become part of another family and someone special will become part of my extended family.
Christians are part of the family of God, which extends across continents and millennia. This family also experiences additions and departures. When the additions take place there’s great joy in heaven and on earth (Luke 15: 10). When the departures happen because of death, there also is great joy in heaven because precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints – the members of his family – even though we don’t often act saintly (Psalm 116: 15; Philippians 1: 21-24). At the death of a saint, those of us who are alive and remain may grieve, but we need not grieve like those who aren’t part of God’s family and so we experience joy in anticipation of the glad reunion (1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18).
So, as my family grows back, I know I have so much to be thankful for. God wills for us to be thankful because he wants us to realize and enjoy all the blessings he has given us (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18). Thankfulness flows from a contented heart and he wants us contented. We live in the greatest (still) country on earth because of the people, the natural resources, and the manifold wonders of nature. Even the little things that come our way, like my encounters with the two ladies at the airport, make me realize that life is so amazing because God is my promise (1 Samuel 2: 1-10). God has blessed us beyond imagination. For that I am thankful.
I am even more thankful that God has blessed us by sending his son to die for us. That’s what the celebration of Christmas is all about. If we can see God’s love in the small things (Jesus coming to earth to die on the cross is no small thing), we’re much more likely to be thankful all the time, not just on the special days.
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at