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Giving Thanks Even When . . .

We had plans for this Thanksgiving. Our plans were interrupted by some unexpected problems. At one point, we said to each other, “Let’s pray that God will give us a clear sign whether we ought to cancel our flight for Tuesday.” I’ll try to keep this semi-personal. One of us had a frequent and increasing pain that had not been clearly diagnosed. On Monday morning, we called the office of a specialist provider we have seen in the past, and they said, “Yes, you can come in Wednesday.” Well, you know that doesn’t happen often, getting an appointment with a specialist in two days! So we got our answer.

Then I called to reschedule our Tuesday flight to Thursday (Thanksgiving Day). We were planning to go to Denver and have a Thanksgiving weekend visit with our daughter, her husband, and their family. The airline customer service agent said, “There is a weather advisory posted, so changing will not cost you any money. And on Thursday morning there are a couple good flights available . . . . Which one do you want?”

We had been concerned that we might get halfway, meaning Midway Airport in Chicago, and be stranded because, while I am writing this, news bulletins state that Denver is having its worst winter storm in three years. Lots of snow and wind. Flights will likely be canceled or delayed.

So, as I write this on Tuesday morning, we are planning to go on Thanksgiving morning. That might still change because we don’t know what will happen with the medical concerns we have. But one thing we do know - God is good. We are thankful that in these daily changes, he has continued to answer prayers. We have an assurance that whether we get what we first want or not, we will be blessed by our Father. And we are thankful!

A few years back we had no family members that could be with us, or us with them, on the actual day of Thanksgiving. So we went to volunteer at our local community Thanksgiving Dinner where anyone who wants can come in and enjoy a good dinner without price and without reservation. We joined about 200 other people coming and going, sitting together and enjoying the fun of an unexpected family the Lord had given us. It was a nice surprise, much better than feeling sorry for ourselves! Many families are scattered far and wide, but God arranges for us to be in families he creates.

One of the old songs (Psalm 68:5-6 TNIV) says this:

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,

is God in his holy dwelling.

God sets the lonely in families,

he leads out the prisoners with singing.

I hope you experience something this week as you consider giving thanks to God. May Thursday not be “turkey day” for you, or football day, but rather, a day to give thanks, whether you are with family, or in a quiet dinner by yourselves. God is good. Let’s be thankful!

Copyright 2019 Stanley Hagemeyer

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