"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." John Fitzgerald Kennedy
May your Thanksgiving be filled with Love ...
"Remember God's bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude!" - Henry Ward Beecher
I wanted to take a moment to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. Throughout the day, so far, I have focused more on my blessings and less on all my unanswered prayers. I know that sounds like a odd way to start out a post about thanksgiving, but it is a truthful way. You see, I have so very much to be thankful for. I have a fabulous assortment of family and friends who so graciously put up with all of my idiosyncrasies. I have a job that I enjoy going to each day, and co-workers who I list among my friends. I have a full closet and food to eat. I can see the beauty all around me, and hear the music of nature. I can dance, jump, and twirl at will. My world is filled with laughter. I am loved. I am rich in all the ways that matter. Yet, there are times when I, like a lot of people, worry about silly things and become frustrated that some prayers have not been answered just yet. I know in my heart that God's timing is perfect, and I realize that by worrying I prove that in some ways I still do not fully trust my God. I feel a bit of shame in admitting that. I don't know where my worry originally came from. If I reflect on my life, I see that God has always been faithful, and I am becoming more and more aware that I have to constantly choose between trust and worry. Yes, this world is uncertain, and time is a glass pendulum with no guaranteed number of swings. However, the same things that make life so very fragile, make it so very precious. The brevity makes the time we have and the choices we've been given all the more important. I need to choose to focus less on me and more on the blessings I have and how I can impact my world with those blessings.
In Matthew 14 Jesus feed 5,000+ people with 5 loaves and 2 fish, but in the very next chapter the disciples find themselves in the middle of nowhere again with a crowd of 4,000+ people who had been following Jesus for three days. Jesus had compassion on the crowd, and told the disciples to feed them so they wouldn't collapse. Forgetting about what Jesus had done for the 5,000 the disciples focused only on the need at hand and said, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?” (Matt 15:33) This time they had 7 loaves and a few small fish. So Jesus "took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38 The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children." (Matt 15:36-38)
Like the disciples, there are a lot of times in my life that I have forgotten about God's blessings in my life and the ways He has multiplied my resources or worked situations out that seemed impossible. When I remember the goodness of God, my heart is filled to the brim with gratitude and I have a much easier time finding the faith I need.
"Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies." - Charles E. Jefferson