~ MID-WEEK MEDITATION ~
Based on Psalm 34
I’m writing this Meditation after phone calls from my sons that made me smile. My oldest son was preparing to do an early Thanksgiving dinner for his wife of two years and wanted me to send him my turkey dressing recipe. My youngest son, who lives out of state, told me what he and his wife were preparing together for Thanksgiving dinner – a couple of days before their first wedding anniversary.
Those simple phone calls led me to reflect on the joy of seeing my sons grow up. I witnessed their births, changed their diapers, saw them learn to walk and talk and watched them go through all of the joys and challenges of evolving from children to teens to college students to successful men, both of whom are doing well in their careers and both of whom joyfully married the “women of their dreams.”
I give thanks for the men they’ve become, especially since forty years of ministry – that included fourteen bi-vocational years as a juvenile probation counselor – allowed me to see how good young people can easily run into bad situations that derail their hopes, dreams, progress and well-being. The success of my sons is a simple but significant reason for me to give thanks to God.
I share that blessing with you on the eve of Thanksgiving Day 2017. America’s national day of thanks – that was first formally proclaimed during the American Civil War – is a time for families to gather for food, fellowship, football games and parades. It’s easy to get caught up in the obligatory traditions of the day, forget the real meaning of the day or simply see the day as a welcome and brief break from life’s routinely stressful and troubling daily situations.
When we take the time, however, to “exhale” and remember the real meaning of the day, we can thank God for life’s routine and extraordinary blessings. We can reflect on the things that God has already done for us – great and small – look forward to what God will do for us, take the time to praise the Lord and prepare to return thanks every day by what we do to serve the Lord and to reach out to and stand up for those around us.
Take the time, in the midst of all that you do on Thanksgiving Day, to pause, count your blessings and praise the Lord for all that’s right in your life. You’ll find new joy, new strength, new peace of mind and new hope as you face each day – not focusing on your obstacles but celebrating your opportunities and saying with one hymn writer – even in the “age of Donald Trump” – “Oh, come to the Father through Jesus the Son; and give Him the glory, great things He has done!”
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Get Ready for Sunday, and have a great day in your house of worship!