How do we even begin to count our blessings? In a time where much of what we hear is complaining, doomsday prophesies, when our family and friends are suffering through bad health, loss of jobs and homes, sometimes it is difficult to see where our blessings lie. But for all the negative energy and in the reality of pain and loss, we don't have to look far to see our blessings. Around this time of year it is common to hear people freely speak of "What I Am Thankful For". During the month of November, some of my friends on Facebook would list something every day for which they are thankful. I so enjoyed reading those posts. Some were humorous, but most were very sincere thoughts from the hearts of those who are humbled by their blessings. Most all of us would list our family, our homes, our jobs, our health, our faith, you know... the big ticket items that we seem to take for granted until they're gone. Yet, the Bible teaches us "In everything give thanks..." (I Thessalonians 5:18) Now that's a very high goal for which to strive. I don't understand it, and it is often difficult to do. But because my faith allows me to see a bigger picture, I know that "all things work together for good for those who love God." I don't understand much of what happens, but I do know that no matter what happens, the God that I love will never desert me. I like the little saying that says something like: Life is not about learning how to avoid the storms. It's about learning how to dance in the rain.
As our world seems to get crazier every day, and our lives busier than ever before, let's not forget to be thankful for the little things. Learning to have a grateful heart in even the small things will change the way we see things in every perspective. When I am whining about how "tough" my life is, I think of the thousands of people, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people would gladly trade their life for my version of "tough". You and I may have it "tougher" than some folks. No doubt we do. But then we have it a heck of a lot better than most folks. Let's be thankful for that. I love my family, my friends, my home, my job, and I'm thankful for them all. I love the freedom and liberty that we enjoy in our nation, but sadly are in perilous danger of losing. On a side note here, I'm doing some light research for a project I'm working on, and I've gotten my hands on some middle and high school history textbooks, as well as a copy of US History for Dummies. I'm fascinated by our country's history, and the more I learn, the more thankful I become for those who came before us and who paved the way for the birth of a nation. It is from these courageous adventurers that we began the custom of celebrating Thanksgiving. They didn't celebrate the day by poring over salespaper ads for Black Friday shopping. They didn't watch huge floats in the Macy's parade or turn on their big-screen tvs to watch football. No... they were too busy thanking the natives for teaching them how to grow crops, and most of all focusing on thanking God Almighty for bringing them through the worst winter of their lives, where many were lost because they did not have the things that we take for granted... food and shelter. It was a brutal beginning to what we call America. I'll be one of the first folks in line at Wal Mart on Friday, that's for sure, but I know that I am blessed, and I am truly thankful for each one. May we all find a quiet moment.... many moments.... during this season.... during each day of every season, to remember our blessings and be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!!