Sitting here, watching the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade, smelling the scent of our holiday dinner, and enjoying time with family, I am very aware that there is so much to be thankful for.
Too often we wait for special events to appreciate the blessings of our lives, yet every day gives us many reasons to give thanks. Even when we face pain and challenges, there are blessings in our lives, we may just need to look a little deeper.
Yesterday, one of the senior members of our congregation went to be with her Savior. As I spoke with her daughter, I was struck by the mixture of emotions. There were tears and expressions of grief, and there was laughter mingled with treasured memories. Even as we made plans, there was a sense of trust in God and the faith that sustained them this far.
A thankful spirit does not deny the reality of pain, suffering and injustice. Instead, it faces such knowledge with the awareness that there is a richness in the moment that we cannot see with just a surface glance. It is when we allow the Spirit to open our eyes to the deeper thing of our lives that we can recognize more of our blessings.
So, today, as you enjoy dinner with family; as you cook, travel and rest, let God guide you to celebrate all your blessings. Celebrate life, health and family. Rejoice in beauty, miracles and wonder. Give thanks for your blessings and the many opportunities you have to be a blessing to others. Remember those people who give of their life to make your life better, and those people of the past who gave to make today possible. Bless God for God's presence in your life, for the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and the love and power of the Holy Spirit.
As you make time to look deeply, celebrate the blessings and build upon them to make life sing. Find strength in the knowledge of what God has done and is doing in your life. Share your blessings with others and encourage one another on the way. You are blessed, loved, and special to God, and that is reason to be thankful.