A Message from Reverend, Jane L. Leechford, Senior Pastor
The Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching. As many families sit down to a delightful meal and give thanks for God's provision in our lives, some may ask, "How can I be thankful? The world is in chaos. My life is in shambles."
Dr. Jim Moore, is a Christian author and retired elder in the Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. Several years ago he wrote a book, You Can Get Bitter or Better! In it he tells the story of a twenty-six-year-old woman in his congregation, whose husband died in a bizarre accident. She was left alone with three children, insufficient money, and her hopes dashed. "I don't know what I am going to do without him," she sobbed. "But I do know what my choices are. I can get bitter or I can get better. I am turning to the church so that I can get better." She underscored a universal truth. When trouble comes upon us, we have choices.
Perhaps there is hardship in your life. You may think, is there anything to be thankful for? 1 Thessalonians 5:18 gives us the answer, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Notice that the Scripture says in everything. It doesn't say for everything. How can we be thankful for sickness, the loss of a loved one, or other difficult events that happen in life? We can't. However, we can give thanks for God's comfort, care, and love in the midst of those experiences. We can be thankful for His presence when something bad happens to us or to those we love.
Henri Nouwen has written, "To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives - the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections - that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment."
Imagine living a lifestyle of thanksgiving at all times, being thankful in all things, even in those circumstances that break our hearts – giving thanks for God's comfort, care and love in the midst of trying times. Being thankful in all circumstances somehow releases the power of God and brings out blessings in our lives that we can share with others.
In this season of Thanksgiving, may God's blessings be with you all.