Wednesday, November 23, 2011
by Micky Wolf
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name; good indeed is the LORD, His mercy endures forever, his faithfulness lasts through every generation. [Psalm 100:4 NAB]
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. [Philippians 4:6-7 NAB]
While the official day of Thanksgiving celebrated in the United States has special significance for us as a nation, it is certainly a time to broaden our focus by counting all our blessings, expressing our thanks, and giving of ourselves through sharing our resources.
Maybe this time of year is one of personal bounty; maybe it is the hardest year of your life to date. Either way, we can be assured that most of us will experience both of these seasons, whether yesterday, today or tomorrow.
Our family has had our years of plenty as well as those of barely scraping by. There is no doubt it is harder to recognize blessings when the bank account is nearly empty, income is nominal at best, or a dear loved one is confined to the sick bed. All the more reason why giving—whether a donation to the local food bank, a sturdy arm to the unsteady senior citizen, or a smile to the weary checkout person—is the currency that brings the greatest sense of peace to the thankful heart.
Blessings come in a multitude of sizes and shapes, as do the occasions to share them. In the midst of the day itself, let us call to mind and pray for those who are alone, those who have little in the way of physical comforts, those who are ill or dying, or any other intentions you may hold in the quiet of your heart. Let us savor each breath we have been given as precious opportunities to be living epistles of God’s love.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. [Melody Beattie]