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Thankful for What I Don’t Have…

It’s early Thanksgiving morning and as I sit here with a cup of coffee in my hand and a sweet dog at my feet I can’t help but reflect. I have so much for which to be thankful. As I count my blessings I am also reminded of things I don’t have, and how I forget to count those things as blessings as well.

For example, I don’t have to wonder what I will be eating for Thanksgiving dinner. Our kitchen is filled with a turkey waiting to be roasted, potatoes to be peeled, bread for stuffing, and an abundance of other delicious dishes on the way with loved ones. The table is set (mostly) and ready for the family who will gather in a few hours.  I remember that many will not have this abundance of food, and may not have enough to eat today. I am richly blessed to not have to wonder what I will eat today.

I don’t begin today wondering if this is the last time I will have a loved one with me for Thanksgiving. I have dear friends who are walking through a time like this, with a medical diagnosis that, short of a miracle, will mean they will soon lose one they love. Others have the fresh pain of recently losing a loved one, and the ache of the first Thanksgiving without that person runs deep. I remember Thanksgivings when I was in the place my friends are in this year and pray for them, remembering to treasure the time I have with those I love as we don’t know what tomorrow brings.

As daylight comes I watch the snow flurries in the cold morning and realize how blessed I am to have awakened in a warm house and that, short of making the entry safe for others I don’t have to go out in the 12 degree weather today. More poignantly I don’t have to live outside in this weather as many do. I think of those who have lost their homes, earthly possessions, and even family members in the fires of California and other recent natural disasters and pray that by next year they will have homes in which to begin new traditions.

Each of our lives are marked with challenges and seasons of struggle and it can be difficult some days to find things for which we are thankful. If you are going through one of these seasons I pray that you will reach out to others to support you through these times. If you are in a season of peace, reach out to someone who is struggling and share that peace with them and support them however you are able.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.                                                  Ephesians 3:16-19

Above all, this Thanksgiving I pray that you know the blessing of the God who loves us so deeply and the security that He will never leave us, whether in times of plenty or times of hardship.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends!