Thankful Thanksgiving

I’ve been bombarded by bad news lately. One friend’s fiance died in his late thirties, another friend’s husband died in his early fifties. One friend’s mother is dying, another’s father passed away.

This is a just partial list, but it’s enough.

How easy it would be to admit appreciation that none of this is happening to me personally. It’s true, I am thankful. But if that’s the only thing I can be thankful for during such times, it’s a cheap and selfish thanksgiving.

Once I sit and list everything I’m thankful for in spite of the bad news, I discover at the center of all is God. I’m thankful His Son conquered death. Thankful for His mercy and grace. Thankful I had the privilege to know most of the people listed above and was given the privilege to comfort and aid many of those they left behind.

And thankful that even though I don’t understand some of the things happening to my friends, God does.

In times like these, the view of “all things working together for good for those who love the Lord” is dim, a pin-light in a long tunnel, an aluminum lining on an ebony cloud. My faith is often weak in spite of the strength I try to portray to those who need me. I’m thankful that the mustard-seed-sized faith I have is sufficient for His use.

Of course, come November 25 I’m going to be thankful to sit with my extended family and demolish a turkey, thankful we’re all safe and sound and insulated for the moment from the troubles other face. Because all it takes is one diagnosis, one drunk driver, one calling home of someone we all love to change the peace we enjoy.

But the Prince of Peace grants peace even in the hard times if we let Him. This amazes me. And for this I’m most thankful.

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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19 Responses to Thankful Thanksgiving

  1. Thank you for your reminder to be thankful in all situations – even the ones so difficult or impossible to understand. Bless you today and may you be a comfort to your friends and loved ones in the coming weeks.

    Donna

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  2. Jenny says:

    I don’t mean to be contrary, but after reading the beginning of your post I was brought up short by one statement. Nobody is “insulated from the troubles others face.” Not today, not any day. “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.” November 25th is a long way away; I could be in my grave by then, and so could you … so could anyone! Praise His Name, I know He saved me in June of 1971 and that Heaven is my eternal home.

    I pray that on Thanksgiving Day my family are safe, gathered around me … but the only One Who never changes is the Lord. In all our circumstances, come what may, He is with us. This is the only certainty and the greatest promise. “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

    Happy Thanksgiving! Great is His faithfulness.

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  3. linda yezak says:

    Donna, thank you and bless you, too!

    Jenny–you’re absolutely right. My family is no more insulated than any other, and I shouldn’t written it that way. What I should’ve written was, “Praise God, this is the first year in several one of us hasn’t faced our own personal tragedy.” Of course, again, you’re right, anything can happen between now and the 25th.

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  4. Keith McCormick says:

    I too thank you Linda for the reminder of the what may seem to be an impossible and unfair state of affairs we should be thankful as we weather the storm,only to have good days ahead.Try to save every good day with a smile and give praise and on Thanksgiving day for the loved ones who surround you. God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving.

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  5. Liberty says:

    Good to remember this month, especially with such tough things going on around us and with my son in particular. Thanks for helping me refocus, even for a minute, Linda.

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  6. Sorry so many of your friends are going through difficulties. It is so difficult to understand, but, yes, we must have that mustard-seed faith. Thanks for reminding us to count our blessings.

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  7. TraciB says:

    Beautifully written, Linda. We all need the reminder to give God thanks every day, not just on the fourth Thursday in November (if we live in the U.S.).

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  8. Linda Yezak says:

    Thanks everyone.

    Liberty–I’m still praying for Xander–praying that it’s nothing serious.

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  9. K.M. Weiland says:

    Amen! I cling to Romans 8:28 during the hard times. It’s such a comfort to know that my frenetic little life is in the hands of an all-knowing, all-loving God. Praise Him for that!

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  10. Nikole Hahn says:

    Wow…you have been having a time of it, haven’t you? You’ve got such a great attitude.

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  11. Tracy Krauss says:

    I once heard a very wise pastor say, “We thank God IN all things, not FOR all things.” Very true. (My husband is smart!)

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  12. I’ve heard of someone else who had one tragedy after another happen among people he knew. His name was Job, and he never succumbed to the temptation–which I’m sure was a very strong temptation–to blame God for any part of it.

    Praise God that you have the heart of Job, even though your experiences are still minor by comparison. Yet, no disaster is minor when it’s you experiencing it, is it?

    God bless you. I’m sure you’ll come out all the stronger on the other end.

    ~ VT

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  13. Annie says:

    Currently reading What about the Big Stuff? by Richard Carlson.One question he often comes back to is…will it matter 1 year from now? This has certainly made me more appreciative of family and friends. Life is way too short especially when we don’t know when those who spark our hearts will be called home to wait in the loving arms of Christ.

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  14. Linda Yezak says:

    Thank you all for your comments.

    Annie–“Will it matter a year from now?” is a great question. For most of my friends who are going through hard times, it *will* matter, not just a year from now, but for the rest of their lives. Which gives us a great truth: The only things that *matter* are our relationships with others.

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  15. Sarah says:

    A wonderful reminder to be thankful even in those unpleasant times. Difficult as it may be, it generally proves to be a comfort that helps you through those moments of trial.
    Thank you, Linda!

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    • Linda Yezak says:

      Sarah, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comment! I agree, being thankful through the hard times is comforting, as if it’s a reminder to focus on Him and not the dark clouds.

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  16. Lynn Mosher says:

    Sometimes, chaos hits like a tidal wave all around us, doesn’t it? What comes to my mind reading this is something I wrote. Hope you don’t mind my sharing it…

    I have learned to praise God no matter what. When my day is darkened with a multitude of problems that need to “take a ticket, take a seat,” and the songs of my heart begin to stick in my throat, do I still sing to Him anyway? You bet! When my eyes spill over with the tears of heartache, do I still look to Him and praise Him? Absolutely! When chaos invades my world, do I still claim His peace and praise Him? Yes, indeedy! For “I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of His glories and grace.” Amen!

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