THANKFUL, OH REALLY?

I am almost certain that everything that can be written about Thanksgiving has already been written.

O, people will meet together, if they are allowed.  They will eat turkey and watch football games, but in this Pandemic year, where we have lost loved ones, homes, jobs, and are perhaps struggling to keep food on the table, many will find little for which to be thankful. 

We have been left numb and dazed wondering how much worse things can be.  

I heard a story yesterday about a sweet little bird that sang all the time.  One day, while vacuuming, the lady of the house accidently sucked the little bird into the vacuum.  Frantically she unzipped the bag and fished out the little warbler covered with dust.  Running to the sink she turned on the cold water and washed the dust away.  By then the poor bird was shivering   violently, so she grabbed the noisy hair dryer and dried him off.  What trauma for such a tiny creature!

When asked how the little bird was doing, his owner said, “Well, he doesn’t sing much anymore.  He just sits there and stars off into space.”

Like that little bird, you may feel as though you have been sucked into a great, dark place covered with the ugliness of life.  Life, as we have known it, has changed drastically, and most likely will not return to the normal that we have enjoyed for so long.  Perhaps, you have experienced so many catastrophes this year that you have lost your song.  Now, you are just staring into the future wondering what in the world will happen next.

A friend, a friend who has suffered much this year, said to me, “You know 2020 is going to become a swear word.”

Not understanding I questioned him.  

“Oh,” he said.  2020 has been such a disastrous year that in the future, when one thinks of it, he will only want to swear.”

I felt sad for my friend, and for all of us.  I hate this pandemic and the things that have transpired as much as anyone.  I hate being alone most of the time.  I hate that some of my acquaintances have sickened and died.  I hate being separated from my suffering sister.  And I long for the day I can leave my house without feeling at risk.  I want it all to be over as much as you do.

However, looking back on this year from a perspective of one, two or ten years, I believe we will be able to see the good things that have taken place.  Think of the beautiful, healthy babies that were born this year, the Sweethearts that have found each other, the families that have rediscovered themselves, the kindness and generosity of neighbor to neighbor, the food banks that have spread feasts on empty tables, and the doctors and nurses and other first responders who have helped to save lives.  Then there are those who, in this time of need, have come to trust in Christ.  What could be better than that?

I know!  I know!  You can find a negative for all these things I have mentioned, but let’s quit looking at the negative for a little while and concentrate on the blessing remembering above all, that regardless of the way things look now, God, who loves us passionately, is still in control.

Truth is this world, and yes our own country, is not a very welcoming place today.  Those of us who have openly declared ourselves to be followers of Christ sometime imagine that we are exempt from hurts and bad things.  We think, “If I do everything right, bad things won’t happen to me.”  Of course that is not the case.  We all live in a sinful world, and often suffer the same sorrows no matter how good we are.

Matthew 5:45 tells us, “He (God) makes His sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.”

We need to look a little closer to find again our thankfulness.  Sometimes we can’t see the trees for the forest.  The BAD looms so gigantic before us that we fail to see the GOOD.  Each morning, when I ask God’s blessing on my breakfast, I first thank Him for “this new day.”  For I realize that, at the age of eighty-five, everyday that I live is a divine gift.

In Psalm 90:10, Moses said, “The days of our lives are seventy years…” There is the belief that God has allotted to us 70 years to live here on this earth, and if we live longer it is a gift from Him.  So, according to this I have had 15 gifted years.  I cherish them all and long for more.

People, who have no time for God, fail to give Him credit for anything not knowing that He wills every breath they breathe and every day they live.

In memory of the Pilgrims we set aside one day each year, and call it Thanksgiving.  To my way of thinking, everyday should be a day of Thanksgiving.

Psalm 100:2-4, “Come before His presence with singing.  Know that the Lord He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.  Be thankful unto Him and bless His name.”

In the middle of this pandemic, you can learn a new song, a song of praise and thanks to God for so many gifts that we enjoy everyday.

 

REMEMBER, THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!