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THANKSGIVING – MORE THAN A SEASON

Thanksgiving.


Now don’t turn me off. This little article is not about turkeys, Pilgrims and sweet potato pie--even though it is my second favorite holiday, ranking right below Christmas. And who really, genuinely gives thanks to our Heavenly Father for all the blessings we enjoy? Like the facts that you woke up breathing, the sunrise was beautiful, the toilet that did not overflow, and the additional fact that you will never really die. No way. Being thankful is usually just something we tack onto a prayer. Why is that? Maybe it’s because we forget so quickly.


So here is my recent experience with thanksgiving--a/k/a gratitude. I was grateful as my husband recovered from pneumonia and Covid. Here’s the picture. He was hospitalized and had little hoses in his nostrils to provide supplemental oxygen. I was the only family allowed to be with him and believe me, I was with him pretty well nonstop. The hospitalization was hard for him. He wasn’t at home and there were glaring lights and strangers all around. The nights were punctuated with strange beeps. Confined to a narrow hospital bed, he had wires attached to all sorts of places on his body.


As noted, it was very hard for him and it was exhausting for me.

As time went by, you could easily recognize the improvement because suddenly he had preferences. He wanted this, not that. And he was thanking me. On more than one occasion, he credited me for saving his life. This very private man was telling other people.


I sat at his bedside, comforted him, confronted medical people, ran interference, dozed on a hard chair, got up every 5 minutes to silence a beeper, and answered a multitude of questions. I did not do any of that for recognition or appreciation. Yet, it was surely nice to be thanked. Nice is actually an understatement. It was exciting to be appreciated. It made me feel good that he noticed and said so. It was not required but was so welcome and had the surprising side effect of encouraging me to do even more.


Just maybe our Heavenly Father feels the same way.

Personally, I have been abundantly blessed. Those blessings come daily, maybe hourly, and just occasionally I notice and make a point to offer a heartfelt “thank you”.


I liked being thanked. It made me feel appreciated. I liked it when my husband bragged on what I had done out of love. I liked it when he noticed and said so. Lord, how much more do YOU like it when I notice and appreciate what You have done for me?


It is not just the words. Words can be empty and meaningless, as any politician can tell you. More likely the biblical kind of thankfulness is a genuine state of heart. I remember that the book of Psalms instructs us to “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise”. Looks like thanksgiving is the gift you are expected to deliver when you get to the front door.


Thanksgiving has evolved into a big, seasonal word. But it is much more than that. It is a matter of noticing the Lord and appreciating Him for who He is and what He does.


Within the past 10 days, I have had two experiences with lost and found, both of which generated vocal thanksgiving in me. I’d like to share them.

First off, a traumatic situation involved my 15-year-old grandson who had lost his driver’s permit. This was the end of the world for him because I won’t let him drive my car without a legal document and it was plain gone. We searched high and low and then tried to get a replacement but lacking a birth certificate, we were turned down. Why not pray, Pat? I did so and the next day he got a phone call from a buddy who had just found the missing driver’s permit. Thank You, Lord!


A second lost and found event happened at Target. I went shopping with my daughter and my great grandson. My daughter parks waaaaaay far from the building so nobody will nick her car. Finally finished, I pushed the cart to the car, hoisted the toddler into his car seat, and off we went. Back in her driveway, I noticed my purse was missing. Yes, I had left it in the shopping cart in the middle of the Target parking lot.


“Mom, you better pray!” she says. I do. I called Target and learn a Good Samaritan had just delivered the purse to customer service. The car keys and the billfold were safe and the cell phone was there too. Thank You, Lord. I am grateful!


I’m sharing these lost but now found stories as another way to demonstrate my gratitude. I noticed the Lord’s blessing and now I want to brag on Him. Whenever I choose to notice His blessings and choose to be thankful, I do believe He likes it.


And then the door swings open.



 

Pat has been a follower of Jesus Christ since 1974 and loves to encourage people to trust God, which comes naturally to her. Her professional background includes journalism, advertising, and public relations. In 1964 she married Bill, earning her the nickname, “Mrs Z”. Together, they raised two wonderful children who married terrific spouses, five grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.



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