“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
“Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
“Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
“For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
— Psalm 100 (King James Version)
Social media, like it or not, can be a very useful and a very powerful tool when used appropriately. I try and utilize to encourage others and, in so doing, I find I encourage myself.
Several friends shared their feelings about thanksgiving.
“I am thankful for my family who stands and, who has stood with me and supported me no matter what.”
“The older I become the more I appreciate the beauty of nature, and the glory of God’s creation. When I was younger, I was so busy with making a living that, at times, I took what was right around me for granted. I don’t do that anymore.”
“I thank God for my health and my beloved family.”
“I thank God that my life has been spent in a small town and in a very close-knit area. Friends, despite differences, become a lot like family. When one hurts, we all hurt. When one does well, we are all on cloud nine. I wouldn’t trade anything for living here and spending my life here. I do thank God for it.”
“I am thankful that so much of what I became was shaped during my years of teaching school. My years in public education working with children and the community were a blessing.”
“Each day I rise and can enjoy the day God has given me, I give praise.”
“I am thankful for my church and my church family. Most of my family is gone now, and I am so thankful for my pastor and my church family. I don’t know what I would do without them.”
“I am thankful for my co-workers. They are wonderful.”
“I am so thankful for my children and grandchildren. They add joy to my life. If I had an actual crown, they are my jewels.”
“I am so thankful for the goodness of God to me. I don’t deserve it. I didn’t earn it, but He is so good to me. I praise and thank Him for being so good to me, and for my salvation. I have lived to see each of my children receive good educations, and their education is something no one can take from them, but that education ends with death, but their salvation and mine that goes all the way, all the way into eternity. Think about that, truly, a miracle.”
“I am thankful for my dear friends. Friendship means so very much, and we have shared so much. I don’t have a lot of close friends, but I am thankful for the good friends. I have. I found when you have hard times, rough patches, you find out who your real friends are.”
“I am thankful I can forgive and have forgiven. I took a lot of prayer and determination, but I reached that point. I don’t hold any grudges against anyone. Now, I won’t lie, I am still working on forgetting, but forgiveness is for the individual. Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting it to harm the other person.”
“I was disinherited and cast out by my father many years ago. For many years, he didn’t speak to me, and I had to speak with my mother when he was away at work. About two years ago, he became terminally ill. I am a registered nurse, now retired. I went home and for the last fourteen months of his life, I nursed him and took care of him. He never had to go into a nursing facility. Before he died, he told me he loved me, and he was sorry for how he treated me. I kissed him on the forehead and said ‘There is nothing to forgive.’”
“I am thankful for the prayers of many people. We don’t think about it, folks will put I am praying for you on Facebook, but do they really? All we can do is hope. Hope is a much undervalued word in my opinion but it means so much. Hope, it helps us in our everyday walk. Prayer is hope and faith sent up to God’s throne. It changes your situation, maybe not permanently, but each time you pray, you are changed. Prayer does change things.”
“I am so thankful my family and I are going out to eat this Thanksgiving. Lord knows I am not a good cook, and I do love my family, but putting together a big holiday meal is, for me, torture. I always brag on those who love to cook and who can cook. I am a good seamstress. I love to garden, but I don’t love to cook. I never have.”
“I am thankful God has spared me to see another Thanksgiving and to spend it with those I love. I will tell each one ‘I love you’. I would suggest others do the same. Don’t be stingy with those words.”
As I close this article I want to relate something personal to my readers. I believe God, at times, provides us situations so we can clearly see how blessed we are. I had one that brought tears to my eyes last week. In a very busy grocery store, a mentally handicapped, and hearing impaired young lady was going about her work behind a deli counter. It was difficult for her to hear my order, but being an educator for years, I recognized her struggle and was patient with it, and I told her “You did a marvelous job!” When my order was completed. “They are so lucky to have you working here.” I said, and I called her manager over and told them. “This lady is GREAT. Hang on to her.” That smile, that sweet smile, did it, and the “Thank you sir. God Bless you. Happy Thanksgiving.” “Happy Thanksgiving,” I replied swallowing a chunk as big as my fist to keep from becoming a blubbering fool in the middle of the grocery store. As I walked away, I whispered a prayer for her and prayed that others would be kind to her. She was trying. I give credit to anyone who tries, but I don’t have much patience with those who don’t. Failure, yes indeed, I can forgive it, have failed and each of us fail God each day, more than once. Falling and disappointing others, I wrote the book on that one. The one I hope no one learns from. I am glad God gave me those falls and disappointments, though, as they made me more sympathetic to the plight of others, and, in the end, they saved me.
To know the human condition for what it is you must witness it. What I saw behind that deli counter, to me, was a Thanksgiving miracle and a story unto itself. There are stories out there for you, and if you allow God, He will demonstrate them to you. They are all around you, and, trust me on this one, God never sleeps. Never.
From the Eight Mile Still on the Woodpecker Route north of White Springs, wishing you a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!!