Do you find it more difficult to feel thankful this year? Even if you still have your job, you probably know someone who has lost his or hers. Or have the tough times made you more aware of and thankful for some of life’s simple gifts?
We have felt the pain of financial loss this year in our family, with two important clients of mine falling on hard times and cutting off funding for the work I was doing for them on very short notice.
And far worse, we have felt the pain of health problems among people we love. Just recently the young daughter of some dear friends was diagnosed with cancer. In the early days of that unimaginable trial, the mother sent an e-mail to all who have been praying for their family encouraging us – encouraging US! – to take heart and remember that God is in control.
This Thanksgiving I find myself feeling very thankful indeed. Not the sort of happy gratitude we all feel after opening a great present. A deeper sense of gratitude. A true thankfulness for the fragile gift of life, for my family, and for my friends.
I can’t help but think of my father at this time of year since I was at his bedside when he passed away the day after Thanksgiving five years ago. He and my mom bought me many gifts over the years. But one of the greatest gifts my dad ever gave me was telling me that having kids was one of the best decisions he and my mom ever made. It isn’t that my mom never expressed those sentiments; she did. It’s just that personal, heartfelt comments didn’t come easily for my dad.
Who do you need to say “thanks” to this Thanksgiving? Who needs to hear how thankful you are that they are in your life?
It’s hard for some of us to express such sentiments. But this Thursday you have permission. It’s what the day is all about. And my guess is that if you muster the courage to do so, you may end up giving someone a gift they will remember and cherish for the rest of their life.