"I was thinking..."
I was thinking…Pastor Steve
“Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the
Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.”
Psalm 95: 1, 2 (NIV)
Well, this has been an interesting year, hasn't it? Barely three months in, and we had to shut down our services. It was difficult for us, as I'm sure it was for many of you also. It was more than distancing; it was voluntary quarantining. It stunk. Then. But Memorial Day weekend, we were able to open back up, limited seating, but we were back, and it felt good. Who knew that within a few months more restrictions would be mandated for gatherings?
Here it is, November, and things haven't changed much. In fact, now there is concern that the flu will make this an even worse season for the corona virus. I've given up trying to predict anything...and that includes this election and how long it may take to have a definitive answer to who won. So, you may ask, what is there to be thankful for?
Many of us weren't directly affected by the virus. We have been able to have our services with an average of 40 attendees. There is a new baby in our midst (and new grandbabies), new job opportunities have occurred, and we are still able to keep moving forward. For these things, we give God thanks.
Sadly, we have lost some very dear friends, spouses, family, and church members. This can make it difficult to give God thanks, but I am thankful for those who have passed knowing their salvation rests with Jesus. They have received their reward, and we pray that we will see them again when we, too, go home to be with the Lord. So, for them, and His promise, we give God thanks.
We have prayers that our future will always be better, our families will prosper, the church will grow with new Believers, and this country will have peace. It will always be a struggle. Jesus said as much in the Gospel of Matthew, but He followed up His take on reality with this: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt. 6: 33, 34) Through all of our struggles, we must stay focused on God's Kingdom. That is our ultimate goal.
I don't know about you, but we probably won't have a family gathering for Thanksgiving. Somehow, without the gathering of family, it won't seem like Thanksgiving, just another day. But, in reality, it shouldn't be much more than that anyway. Each day, we should give thanks to God for all of our blessings: family, love, nation, church, shelter, etc. We really shouldn't need a special day to tell us to humble ourselves before our Maker. However, I have nothing against the day. It may cause those who aren't Believers to acknowledge there is someone greater than themselves, and that's a good place to start for them.
And, Dona and I give thanks for you all as well. You have been a wonderful blessing to us ever since we arrived here, and even before. So, have a great Thanksgiving in whatever way you can and God bless.