Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

I have “tracker” software on my blog which tells me how many “hits” I have, where they come from in the world, and what “search terms” they have used to bring them to my site.

For a person like myself, who has “detail-itis” it’s interesting to read. Naturally, at this time of the year the most often used “search terms” uses wording having to do with “Thanksgiving” prayers or devotions.

However, there was one hit last night that broke my heart. The “hit” came from Fort Worth, Texas and the “search term” used was, “Thanksgiving prayer when loved ones are gone…”

There are so many times that I wish I could contact the person and ask, “Did I have anything that helped?” How my heart goes out to them, and immediately I think of Fort Hood (however, after looking at a map, I see that Fort Worth is no where near Fort Hood – but still…) And I have to ask, are the loved ones gone due to death, or choice?

Either way – someone has lost someone at this time when we are all celebrating (or are supposed to be celebrating) our thankfulness.

Let us not “falsely” celebrate Thanksgiving. Let us not simply push aside our fears, our pain and our grief, and pretend that everything is fine. However, let us remember Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NASB) “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Paul doesn’t say to give thanks “for” everything, but “in” everything. Be aware that in even in the darkest times, God is still God, and we belong to Him. Psalm 100 says, “Know that the Lord, He is God. It is He that has made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”

Don’t ignore the pain, but instead search for and lift up a “Thanksgiving prayer when…” whatever it is you are facing grips your heart.

Gracious and loving God may we, as the Psalmist said, “Shout joyfully, serve with gladness, come with joyful singing, and know that You are God!”

We are not in control. You have made us, and we are Yours.

May we enter Your door with thanksgiving, come into your garden with praise, and thank You and bless Your holy Name. Because, dear Father, You are good, Your “hesed” Your mercy, is everlasting, and your truth and faithfulness “endures” to all generations – including our own.

May we, in this time of Thanksgiving and in preparation for this Christmas season, lift up those (or even ourselves) who are struggling for whatever reason. Father, let us not ignore the pain; let us not pretend that it isn’t there, that there isn’t suffering on every corner. But instead Lord, may we “in all things” give thanks to You – for You are God. May we cling to the assurance that, You’ll “strengthen us, help us, and cause us to stand. Upheld by Thy righteous, Omnipotent hand.”

For it is in the Name of Jesus, our Saviour we pray – Amen.



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