Gee, Thanks

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It’s The Hurt That Counts
Marie Paule Thielle of Metz, France, who is only 3 years old, has received the Bronze Medal for “an act of courage and dangerous sacrifice.” But the one she rescued does not like her. The story: When Marie’s playmate, two-year-old Denis fell into the municipal pool, she grabbed him by the hair and held his head out of the water until her screams for help were answered. Said Marie: “He doesn’t like me now because it hurt when I pulled his hair.” [Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.]

The uncanny ability to miss the big picture does not escape us when we grow up. The large canvas of life is made up of many small scenarios. As life runs its course we often find tears in the canvas, many times by our own hands. The really unfortunately part is that we tend to camp out in those holes in life missing the rest of the world around us.

Thanksgiving is such a holiday that briefly sooths some of these areas of life. The problem is that Thanksgiving itself tends to be a lonely holiday. That is, a once a year event for Americans with no other holidays as a companion. Well, once a year is not enough. I don’t mean the official government sanctioned definition of Thanksgiving. I mean the spirit of the holiday in the realm of thankfulness and gratitude for those often overlooked, taken for granted people, relationships and experiences of life.

Thankfully, we have a big God Who is not ignorant and unaware of the smallest details of our big picture lives. Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26 ESV). We may not always understand the discomfort we find in the details and we don’t have to. We don’t always understand the blessings and comforts in life either, but we gladly receive them. The uncomfortable details are merely distractions, not erasers, from all that we have to be thankful for.

Remember that we have a big God Who values human life so much that He sent His Son to die for and redeem all Who will trust in Him. Take the day to think on those overlooked parts of life you should be thankful for. Share them with whoever you are with. Praise God for them. Don’t let Thanksgiving be a lonely holiday, let its spirit overstay its welcome and then some.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9 ESV)

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