IN THIS ISSUE
Finding God in Thanksgiving
A?n elderly couple admires the paper turkeys and fall foliage decorating the retirement home walls. As they wait, a server brings them their simple, pre-made meals. This is Thanksgiving.
As he pulls off his baseball cap, running a hand over his scruffy hair, a man gruffly requests a table for one at a nearby restaurant. This is Thanksgiving.
We may not celebrate Thanksgiving in the same way. We may not have the same traditions, or the same meals, or the same company. Still, despite our differences, as Christians we all honor Thanksgiving for the same reason: to thank God for the gifts He gives us.
Many times it seems like we have little to be thankful for. A man laid off from work may not feel thankful. A couple who has miscarried their first child may not feel thankful. A mother who knows her daughter is sleeping on the streets may not feel thankful. In times like these, how can one thank God?
Other times, we are so preoccupied with our blessings that we forget to thank the One who gave them to us. A son accepted into college may hug his parents, but forget to thank God. A man who survived major surgery may shake the hands of his doctors, but forget to say a prayer of thanks to God. A woman who gets a promotion may thank her employer, but forget to thank the One who gave her such abilities.
What we sometimes overlook is the understanding that through it all — the hard times and the easy, the painful and the joyful — God is present. When we think we cannot handle any more pain, He is present, carrying our burdens. When we accomplish something great, He is also present, sending us His love.
Thanksgiving is more than a holiday. It is a time to remember what is important to us, and to recognize all of the blessings we have been given. It is a time to share our blessings with others, so they, too can feel God’s loving presence. It is a time to tell Our Lord how grateful we are for the gifts He has given us. This is Thanksgiving.