This Thanksgiving season I have been taking time to contemplate about the things that the Lord God has done for our family, rather than focus on the negative and distressing things that have occurred over the last year or so...
First, and most importantly, I am thankful to Almighty God for His love, grace and mercy. His amazing gift in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ guarantees those who call upon His Name a place in heaven, free from the eternal damnation in hell -- which is sadly these days a message oft overlooked in the effort to allow everyone to "feel good". However, without such a precious and wonderful gift, there would be no hope of anything after death. But through Christ's sacrifice, we have hope, and we can cling to that hope whether times are easy or hard to bear, knowing that we have the victory at the end through Christ.
I am so blessed to have a wonderful loving and hard-working husband, who has a job (another thing to be thankful for in this difficult and trying economy!). I enjoy his friendship, the conversations we have, the fun activities we engage in and just his presence overall. I am thankful for the children the Lord has loaned to me and pray that I do them justice in raising them to know Him and honor Him. I am thankful for my parents and my in-laws, who raised both my husband and myself with a sense of morals and values that have withstood the tests placed upon us by time and a culture that seems to have turned away from things worthy and of value to embrace the fleeting pursuits of life that bring only temporary pleasure. I am thankful for the confidences I have shared with my beloved sister, the joy I have had in spending time with her and with my nieces and nephew, and the good-natured pranks and teasing that are part of our relationship.
I am thankful for my health, which although not perfect, allows me to experience life using all my senses and faculties...and I don't know that I always remember to thank Him just because of that reason alone. I would not be able to pursue my favorite activities - reading, writing, crafting singing, and baking to name a few - if it were not for the abilities that the Lord has granted me with in His mercy and love, and it is some of these things that distinguish me as unique and individual from among the other amazing creations He has wrought with His mighty hands!
Despite the current discouraging climate in this political arena of late, I am so blessed to live in a country where I can read God's Word without fear of arrest or torture, that I can instruct my children in His ways, that I can praise Him anywhere and everywhere I go, and that I have the freedom to worship in those ways. I am so thankful for the men and women who have fought and are fighting to protect our freedoms, from those who journeyed here before the Europeans did, for those who braved the seas and came, and for those who melded together for the common goal of creating a nation where freedom and liberty were paramount and thus secured...I am thankful for those who rose up in courage to speak out against dictators, heresies and the like to grant us all the opportunity to pursue freedom and happiness and who joined together to create the republic form of government which allows each of us to be part of the political system and elect leaders we believe will be trustworthy to bear the burdens of governing over the small towns, rural areas, cities, counties, states and nation we hold dear.
I praise God for all of these gifts and more -- family and friends, neighbors and brothers and sisters in Christ here and around the world, food, clothing, shelter -- there are abundant blessings to count and we should all take time more than once each year to offer praise and thanksgiving to the Heavenly Father for His mercy and grace.
May you all experience a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!!!