Do we honor God with thanksgiving every day of the year? Do we have an ever increasing faith? Do we need help opening our eyes to the many blessings He has bestowed upon us? Do we look forward to family gatherings at Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving Day with all the trimmings, turkey and dressing, pumpkins and parades, cooking and keeping traditions in check, family and feasting, with prayers that we sing… these are a few of my favorite things.
As Thanksgiving approaches, let us unite with thankful hearts that give glory to God and share His love wherever we go. Helen Steiner Rice penned a poem that puts into perspective the power of a thankful heart. Let’s do a heart check-up while reading.
“Take nothing for granted, for whenever you do, the joy of enjoying is lessened for you.
For we rob our own lives much more than we know when we fail to respond or in any way show,
Our thanks for the blessings that daily are ours – The warmth of the sun, the fragrance of flowers.
The beauty of twilight, the freshness of dawn, the coolness of dew on a green velvet lawn,
The kind little deeds so thoughtfully done, the favors of friends and love someone unselfishly gives in
many ways, Expecting no payment and no words of praise. Oh, great is our loss when we no longer
find… a thankful response to things of this kind.
For the joy of enjoying and the fullness of living, are found in the heart that is filled with thanksgiving.”
No matter what’s going on in our lives, there are plenty of reasons to have a thankful heart.
“Easier said than done,” many people reply who read this story while suffering from sickness, sadness, sorrow, and situations that tear thankful hearts into pieces.
“What do we have to be thankful for?” heartbroken people ask. Feelings that life isn’t fair and holidays magnify heartaches are real for those bound by cloudy days.
Cloudy days come without warning. Seasons of heartbreak hit when least expected. Yet, the promises of our Lord in His Word give reason to keep pressing forward even when the outcome looks bleak. A thankful heart in a heartbreaking situation gets God’s attention. He is well pleased when we stand firm in faith for new beginnings. We make choices to move forward instead of being bound by our past when the sun’s light and warmth seemed to pass us by. God never makes mistakes, even when our thankful hearts are broken to pieces. He heals our hearts and helps us make it through suffering seasons. He brings good from the bad according to His plans for our lives. He chases the clouds away in His perfect timing.
As Annie promised in a crowd pleasing local production many seasons ago, “The sun will come out tomorrow!”
God promises in Psalms, “I will bind up your wounds and heal the brokenhearted.” And He will…for God is a Promise Keeper who loves to dwell in thankful hearts in all seasons, not just Thanksgiving. His sun is shining all the time…even when we can’t see it.
Have a thankful heart this Thanksgiving; let the sun shine from the love that dwells within!
Becky Spell Vann is a long-time columnist for the Sampson Independent’s Faith & Family section and owner of the outreach ministry Tim’s Gift.