And in ALL Things, Give Thanks

When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.                    Luke 1:5-7 (NLT)

Here in the United States we will celebrate Thanksgiving this week. Families will come together and load a large table down with dishes of food. Many will gather in front of the TV to watch football or go out in the yard and participate in their own hilarious games. Some may even go to their local soup kitchens and serve the homeless and poor a hot meal before returning to their own homes for the aforementioned meal. But not everyone will fall in these groups.

I know several people who will have chemotherapy treatments this week. One is going to have the week “off” but will go to the hospital on Monday for yet another treatment. I know one family that is waiting for a phone call from a major treatment center to know what the plan will be to treat their loved one’s cancer. They are hoping there will be a treatment. Many will plan their day around a phone call or a Skype call from a loved one in Afghanistan or some other “can’t tell you” location as they serve and protect.

Some people will have an abbreviated dinner because they are police or first responders or nurses or waitresses in a local diner and they do not have the day off. They are dedicated. They need a job.

And then there are some who have no family near enough to come together. They will try to make a meal for one or two or maybe peanut butter sandwiches because that is all they have. They aren’t homeless and even volunteer at a soup kitchen to feed others but have little for themselves. They are the unknown ones in our midst that I need to be most aware to hear God, I think.

Zechariah and Elizabeth did all that God asked of them and yet God did not answer their prayer for a child. They had asked for many, many years. Now they were old and still they faithfully worshiped and loved their LORD. They were faithful even when they could not hear or see from God. They were faithful. God was faithful too. And that is what I am thankful for this year.

I am thankful that God has kept me faithful. I am thankful when I don’t have answers to what has come into my life, He has brought me the truth that Jesus is there. In ways that I cannot see or hear, God has lifted me and held me on His path. Even when I stumble and step away, He is right there and grasps my hand with His love and brings me back. And because I am so grateful, I want to reach out to others and encourage them that whatever is in their lives, they can give thanks to the One who is right there with them through their hardships. He is there. My heart is so very grateful for God’s presence today.

When Answers Aren’t Enough written and sung by Scott Wesley Brown

I will see you all back here next Monday. I pray that your week is all about being thankful that Jesus is in your life and God’s love is sufficient for the journey that you walk.

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