No matter the obstacles in our path, we still have much to be thankful for
and should proclaim to the Lord that we are grateful for all that we have
even in the midst of the storm. We are to remember our many blessings when
times of trial or tribulation come our way because we will shew forth that
our focus is on the good that's in our life which greatly outweighs the bad
that is only temporary. Be encouraged to bless the Lord at all times and
show your confidence that even though times may be tough today, God is
still with you and He will turn your mourning into His Joy that is unspeakable.
I hope you are encouraged by today's message to be thankful for all that
you have and when you have the opportunity, make yourself available so that
others can be thankful for you.
A THANKFUL THANKSGIVING
The Sunday before Thanksgiving was a cold snowy day that made you think of
the previous summer, and wonder if the sunshine would come out before
another week passed. I guess it was one of those things that made living
in Michigan a challenge. The ever changeable weather! As we gathered around
the table to eat that afternoon we were making our plans for Thanksgiving
dinner, and who was bringing what. We always tried to invite a new family
from church over, thinking perhaps they would be alone on Thanksgiving in
a new area.
“Mom”, our youngest son said, “did you notice Mrs. Mitchell sitting in
church today? She was blowing into her handkerchief and wiping her eyes.”
Our daughter said she thought it must be because her son had just passed
away. I was stunned. My husband and I looked at one another and asked how
she knew about this, we hadn't heard a thing! We knew about her son; but
only that he had been wounded in the war, and didn’t live in the area.
“I guess she hasn't seen him for a while, he lived some place in another
state, and I only knew about it because René’s Dad was helping her with the
burial arrangements.” Our daughter finished.
I thought about the prayer chain that was used for everything from an
illness with a newborn to someone who had been diagnosed with cancer, and
yet nobody had shared a thing about Mrs. Mitchell and her son. As the meal
ended I spoke with my husband, and he said he would call René’s Dad and
talk with him.
I knew Mrs. Mitchell wouldn't be at the evening service that night, she
hardly ever ventured out after dark, but something was telling me I should
stop by to see her. My husband agreed, he said his telephone conversation
had assured him that her son had been in and out of the hospital a number
of times; and last week Mrs. Mitchell received a call from the authorities
that he had fought his last battle.
“Oh dear, I exclaimed! How could she handle this alone? I'm going over to
see her right now.” I told my husband as I reached for my keys, purse and
coat. “I'll take some of these brownies and tell her I was thinking of her
and just wanted to stop by.”
The snow was still coming down as I rang the front door bell of the old
Victorian house on Main Street. Mrs. Mitchell had been widowed for over
ten years, and yet she was a sweet and loving lady, always ready to help
out when she could.
“Hello dear,” a smile appeared on the kindly wrinkled older face. “What on
earth are you doing out on this cold night?” She asked ushering me into
“I was thinking about you today and one of the boys said he saw you in
church and thought you might have a cold, I just wanted to bring some
brownies by to see how you were feeling.” I gently said.
She invited me in for some hot tea and we talked about some of the coming
church functions and then she said she'd like to share something with me.
I prepared myself to listen to a Mother’s heart as she bravely spoke.
Her son had been a Vietnam veteran and was battling some type of disease
and emotional problems from his years during the War. He was in and out of
the VA Hospital in the state where he resided. She had sent him a card
inviting him to have Thanksgiving and Christmas with her, as she was all
alone. And then she received the call from the hospital about his death.
She knew she couldn't make the trip, and she and René’s father made the
arrangements with the Veterans Administration the week before. She said he
had been to see her a few months ago, and they spoke on the telephone
often, but his battle had been a hard one and she remembered their last
conversation, and how he looked when he had been home. She would carry
that memory of him in her heart. He would be laid to rest next to her late
“I'm so very sorry, Mrs. Mitchell. I only wish you had told us, we would
have been over to help you in anyway we could.” I felt it seemed like such
a weak thing to say in view of the situation. “I do want you to plan to be
with us on Thanksgiving, this Thursday, please plan to come. I don't want
you to be alone at this special time of year.”
“You know,” the silver haired lady smiled happily. “I would love it if you
and your family would be my guest and come over and have dinner with me on
Thursday. When my husband was alive we used to have several families from
the area share that day with us, and I would enjoy thinking about the
dinner, making pies, salads, cakes and the turkey. Will you say 'yes', it
would make me so happy,” She was practically gleaming with excitement. I
could see her mind was reliving memories that were special to her.
“Well, we have invited a new family from the church to come to our house
for dinner, but I know they'd enjoy sharing the day with you too, and we
certainly would, but are you sure you're up to this crowd?” I was
thoughtful of her doing too much.
“Of course I am. I've entertained all my life, and will enjoy doing this
too. And it will give me something happy to think about. Actually, I'll
be 'thankful' to you for joining me on Thanksgiving.” I knew what she was
saying and after talking a few minutes more I said 'goodnight', and told
her I'd be in touch.
When I arrived home and told the children about going to Mrs. Mitchell's
for Thanksgiving dinner, they were all happy. Our oldest son said she had
a great hill for sledding, and our daughter loved her big old house and
Mrs. Mitchell was like a grandmother, she said. I thought about our small
home, but always happy to share with anyone who could come, and how happy
Mrs. Mitchell looked when thinking about her Thanksgiving plans.
Later that evening as my husband and I were talking, I said it would be
different not to get up early in the morning and put a turkey in the oven,
but how Mrs. Mitchell had actually said she would be 'thankful' if she
could host the dinner at her home. I was grateful that at a sad time in
someone's life, that having a crowd for Thanksgiving dinner would help.
Even in the cold snowy weather I felt the warmth from an older woman who
in the face of loss, was reaching out to share with others.
By Diane Dean White
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Matthew 5:4-9 Jesus declares “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall
be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they
shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the
peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Luke 6:30-31 Jesus declares “Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of
him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that
men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth
us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in
any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
Luke 6:35-36 Jesus declares “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and
lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye
shall be the children of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful
and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today’s Selected Poem: HE HAS NOT FORGOTTEN YOU
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/enpoem155.htm
Today’s Selected Testimony: THE REWARD
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony105.htm
In Christ’s Service,
Gods Work Ministry