Monday, November 25, 2013

Stringing The Pearls Of His Favor

The last Thursday in November is the one day that is exclusively American.  We commemorate a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621.

When their arduous existence was rewarded with a bountiful harvest after a year of sickness and scarcity, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God and celebrated His bounty with a joyous outpouring of gratitude.

Times change.  Traditions coalesce.  Their meaning becomes vague to younger generations of Americans.

In a time when aging veterans are told they cannot fly the flag under which they served or school children are told by their school board that there is no time in the day to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, upholding traditions like Thanksgiving may be at odds with our devotion to progressivism or secular self-interest.

If there is one day each year when food and family take center stage, it is Thanksgiving. It is a holiday about “going home” with all the emotional content those two words imply.

The need to connect with loved ones and to express our gratitude is at the heart of Thanksgiving and a nostalgia for a simpler time.  Somewhere in the hustle and bustle is the abiding national memory of a moment in Plymouth, nearly 400 years ago, when two very different cultures shared an autumn feast.

To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us—and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love; every moment of existence is a grace.

I must admit, that this year more than any other in my 61 years of life, I have been stringing the pearls of His favor.

With the diagnosis that I have restrictive lung disease, I became depressed.  My depression was lifted when God brought me to my lung specialist.  I am not well, not cured, but I am in better health as a result of this very caring and compassionate medical professional.

From the miracle of heart catheterization, I have learned that my heart is healthy and not the source of my lung disease. 

From the government shutdown, when I was not being paid despite reporting for duty each day, I was able to liquidate some assets in order to stay afloat financially.

You find yourself praying in times of need.  You should also pray in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the heavenly blessings which God has bestowed upon me.  I will recount the days filled with abundance, joy and gratitude.  I will kneel in prayer for all the gifts I have received and have yet to receive.

For my readers who have taken a moment from their busy day to leave their kind words and their heartfelt thoughts and prayers, I have been touched by your compassion.

God grants us a gift of 86,400 seconds a day.  You took a few of those precious seconds to think of me and wish me well.  I can never repay your kindness.

I have always loved A.A Milne’s children’s’ story about Winnie-the-Pooh.  It was Piglet who noticed “that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”

I will be thinking of you at Thanksgiving and asking God to bless you abundantly, love you dearly and watch over you always.

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