A Thanksgiving Blessing

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope it truly is a happy one for you. For many, today will indeed be a day of richness--of family, feasting, and laughter. Yet I know that for others, today inaugurates a holiday season that will be marked more by pain and loneliness than happiness. So perhaps it is wiser to wish you a Blessed Thanksgiving, whether it is a happy one or not. God's blessings keep us regardless of our circumstances. During the times in my life when I have struggled--and those have been many--the one constant I could count on was God's love for me, and His care in ways I often knew nothing of. Today my friend Julie will spend her first Thanksgiving without her beloved husband, Chris. It would be foolish of me to wish her a happy Thanksgiving. But a blessed one? Yes, that is something I both pray she will have and trust she will have.

Blessings of comfort and peace, knowing that death does not have the last word: that belongs to the Alpha and Omega, and He decrees Life.

Blessings of family, with two sons, a daughter-in-law, and a grandchild with whom she will no doubt spend this day.

Blessings of memories, bittersweet, precious, and--remembering what a nut Chris was--often funny.

Most of all, overarching and undergirding all other blessings, the blessing of God's presence: the arms of a knowing and loving heavenly Father holding Julie in the midst of her grief--yes, even when it seems like no one, not even God, can touch the raw wound of a loved one lost. May the "peace that passes all understanding" be hers, and may grace carry and strengthen her on her journey.

Today I am thankful for my sweetheart, Lisa, who is busily preparing the turkey. I am thankful that today we will eat that turkey, and plenty else besides, with my dear 86-year-old mother and my sister, Diane. I am thankful for my family members who will be observing this day far away--for Pat in Washington State; Terry in Sweden; and Brian, Cheryl, and my nephew, Sam, in Dallas. I am thankful for some wonderful friends, and for health, and for my cluttered but clean and comfortable apartment. I am thankful for the gift of a simple life (though by no means one that is devoid of interest). There is much I find to be thankful for. Most of all, I am thankful for my Savior and Teacher, Jesus, who has walked with me and often carried me for over 30 years. I am a blessed man with much to be thankful for. Today, whether your circumstances are happy or difficult--or, as is the case with most of us, a mixture of both--may you recognize God's blessings in your own life here and now. May you go through your day with a heart of gratitude. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving. Bob