I have many fond memories of Thanksgivings growing up. I love the family game time, and the food and of course the football. I love not having an agenda and just being allowed to relax with those I love.
But I also remember the hard times. Once I was driving home from Syracuse University much too anxiously, and got a well-deserved speeding ticket. I recall being sick and not wanting to eat all of my favorite foods, and I remember being alone in Alaska, where a couple friends took me in for their Thanksgiving celebration – a deep fried turkey in sub-arctic temperatures. Many times, I just wanted to withdraw into my bedroom and play video games, giving up what the day was supposed to be all about.
Many will enjoy this wonderful day and yet many also will dread it. They know fights will occur between distant or close family members. They dread how alcohol becomes the center of the celebration instead of family and thankfulness. Some will be alone, feeling like they have no one to be thankful for, or a more painful realty, the thought that no one is thankful for them.
I want to bring you encouragement this Thanksgiving, no matter what camp you fall in. God gives us a truth that we can cling to.
“The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.” (Psalm 46:7)
The one who commands Heaven’s armies is with you this Thanksgiving! Isaiah 30:15 goes even further, saying, “Only in returning to Me and resting in Me will you be saved.”
If you feel alone, call out to God and ask Him to be with you, to give you rest and to save you. If you see someone who is alone, or seems down, go and do what the Lord of Heaven’s armies does – and be among them. You may well be the reason that person is Thankful, this Thanksgiving season.