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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Not everyone is thankful at Thanksgiving

You may not have stopped to think about it, but not everyone is thankful at Thanksgiving. Some are like the suffering person in the note below.

"I really don't get this 'Thanksgiving thing.' I don't have the 'Leave it to Beaver' family, never did. Sure it's a big time for families, but I'm alone on Thanksgiving, so what's the big deal. My kids don't live near me; I'm not close to my brother or sister, my husband left me, so what's to celebrate, Being alone? Being miserable? I'll just snuggle up in my blanket on the sofa with my TV dinner while the rest of you go on with your fairy tale lives." (Anonymous)

Now, you may think the above note is a little extreme, but is it really? Think about your life and the lives of folks you know. How many of them are truly happy? How many times do you or they worry about things in this life? There may be a family member who is sick or who had a bad report from the doctor. You may be looking at the loss of a job, a cut in your hours at work. It may be that your employer may be downsizing, or you worry about the drop in the value of your home or your savings or retirement funds.

For some people, it is difficult to celebrate the holidays in November and December. I read somewhere that there are more suicides at this time of year than any other. Why? Probably because people are reminded that they don't have the storybook lives they would like to have and they feel like they never will.

You may be wondering what worry has to do with Thanksgiving. The way it connects is that the inability to give thanks comes from the same weakness and struggling in our spirits that causes us to worry. It is a basic losing of our faith in the one who sustains us.

Did you know that at least 9 times in the New Testament we read the words, "May God be with you." Do you really believe that God is with you today? Do you recognize his power and strength around you? Could it be that you are spending so much time focusing on the negatives things that might happen, that you forget to count your blessings for today?

You see our sense of well being; the ability to give thanks is in proportion to our faith in God. Paul writes these words in Ephesians 5:19-20, "Speak to one another with psalms, hymn always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps right now, this moment, would be a good time to begin singing the old song that tells us to, "Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done."

Is it a time for Thanksgiving? YES! I definitely think so!

--Russ Lawson

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