As we progress through life, we experience a lot of events that shape who we are. We graduate from high school. We might attend college. We may graduate from college. We relocate to another city. We choose to follow Jesus Christ. We marry. We start a family. We purchase a home. We are separated from loved ones due to job relocation. We lose a family member or a friend to death. We grieve, we endure intent sadness.
In all of these life events, we have either joy or sadness. Also, all these times teach us something about life and ultimately about ourselves. During the first Gulf war, some friends of ours had their son and their youngest daughter in Saudi Arabia. The mother experienced depression. The father had to keep his small business running, but he later admitted to having a hard time dealing with two of their children, especially their daughter, involved in the war.
The parents and the daughter learned some things through their separation; God showed the mother and father how much their family means to them. When the daughter returned home, the one thing she couldn’t get over was having a commode that flushed. The daughter later turned her life around and is a strong witness for God.
We live in a small older house. I feel drafts around the window in the living room. The furnace doesn’t keep it as warm as I would like. The basement stairs could be a cause for concern but I have always been careful on them. But, when I hear of people in Galveston Texas living in tents after Hurricane Ike, I believe I can thank God for keeping us safe and dry in our home.
Yesterday, at church we saw pictures of a church parsonage in Galveston that looked horrific. The exterior of the church and the parsonage look pretty good. The crux of the damage is the inside of the buildings. The surge from the gulf caused the damageintense waves of water breaking through the windows, filling the houses, bringing in mud etc, and then backing out of the structures. The surge left behind mud, alien objects from their usual habitats, and some cadavers. The church took up a collection for the Galveston congregation.
When I was in third grade, my teacher told us Thanksgiving was about giving thanks for what God has given us. It wasn’t about having turkey. We were to give thanks even if all we had was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Tradition tells us the Pilgrims had an average of five kernels of corn (per day) during their first winter here. At onetime, our former church had as its Thanksgiving eve service a time of each person holding a candle stick and five pieces of corn and telling five things they were thankful for.
As we go through our seasonal routine in preparing for Thanksgiving, let’s take some time and think about the many things God has done in our lives and tell Him “Thank You.”