Year leaves much to be thankful for

"Rejoice evermore… In every thing give thanks…" 1 Thessalonians 5:16, 18

I have so much to give thanks to the Lord for this holiday season. Does that mean I had a year free of anything bad? No, my year wasn't rosy but I didn't go through it alone.

Looking back I can see how the Lord was there to help me and those I love through those difficult times. Isn't that enough reason to give thanks? I think so.

There is no reason to go into details as I am sure others could list their own tragedies and losses this year. So many families I know will have an empty chair at the table this year, but they have memories of years past with those loved ones and hope of seeing them again someday.

There will also be empty places at the tables of thousands of servicemen and women's families. Some are deployed throughout the world and others will never return.

Thank you to all our service personnel past and present for the sacrifice you gave so we can remain free. Thank you to the families as well who sacrificed while their loved ones were away and in harm's way.

Let's take a look at a few of the billions of reasons to give thanks. I give thanks to my Savior Jesus Christ who gives me assurance of eternity spent in heaven.

In John 14:1-3 He says "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me… I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also". This earth is sometimes a difficult place to live, but we have heaven in our future.

I am thankful for family and friends who have become family to us. I am thankful for my church family who ministered to us in time of need. They are always there when you need them and pray for each other. I am so thankful I can pray for them as well.

I am thankful for my home. It is a joy every morning to walk outside and observe the changing seasons, which bring promise of things to come. I am thankful for my pets even when they wake me when I am trying to sleep. They are always doing things to make me laugh.

As you can see, all of us have things and opportunities to give thanks to God. I am not saying our world is perfect as we are experiencing so many trials and calamities in the world.

We are in the middle of a devastating drought while people in the east were flooded. The world situation is even worse as Israel and Gaza are shooting missiles at each other and war rages on in Afghanistan.

The apostle Paul had something to say about the turmoil we experience in Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV): "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

With all of that in mind I think we have much to be thankful.

Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at:

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