Thanksgiving is time to count life’s blessings

By Joan Clayton: Religion Columnist

“Thanksgiving” is just that … a day of giving thanks. It’s a special day to give heartfelt thanks to a God who provides every blessing. So I’m thankful for life!

Aren’t you glad you’re alive? Can you hardly contain the joy of knowing your birth was planned by God and that he has a special plan for your life? Isn’t it just too wonderful knowing he will never leave or forsake his children? The promise of spending eternity with him makes everyday living an exciting adventure.

Listen to this statement, “And you will joyfully give thanks to the Father who has made you able to have a share in all that he has prepared for his people in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:12 NCV). Is that not reason to be forever grateful? I wouldn’t have missed this life for the world because I had rather lived and loved than never to have lived at all. So I’m thankful for God’s love.

God instituted marriage and a plan for the family. Reverence for God gives guidance, life and happiness. Children are blessings. I love to write on each son’s birthday card, “Thy father and mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice” (Proverbs 23:25). Children became my teacher in 31 years of teaching. Their faith and trust enabled me to peek into their world and see God as they see him. I’m so thankful for children.

Freedom allows living on the greatest land on the planet. Many times I hear complaints and criticism of my beloved America. I wonder, if this country is so bad why does everyone want to come here? I think it’s because this country epitomizes freedom. That freedom has been bought with love and sacrifice. I’m thankful for the founding fathers that humbly before God lay the groundwork for a free nation. I’m so thankful for freedom.
I’m thankful God has given each one of us a measure of faith. If your faith wanes at times, read the 11th chapter of Hebrews. You will find ”heroes of faith” who accomplished great feats through faith in God. Being thankful stimulates faith. Faith believes in the ultimate goodness of life. Faith forges straight ahead, knowing that with God “all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). Faith sees possibilities in impossible situations. Faith never gives up, but reaches up. I am so thankful for faith.

I’m thankful that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16). Life after death would be eternal torment in a place separated from God. God is love and that makes life precious. Love is the twinkle in my husband’s eyes when he holds my hand. Love is hugging our sons as far as I can reach. Love is holding my grandchildren. Love is saying, “I love you” to the special people in my life. Giving thanks increases love in your heart and I’m so thankful for that.

The apostle Paul shares a wonderful secret in Philippians 4:11, … “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Being content with what one has avoids many pitfalls and traps. Remember what God has done for you in the past. You will find that he has done “exceeding abundantly all we could ask for or think of.” He is the same God each day of our lives. God’s faithfulness remains steadfast in the storm. In him, your anchor is always secure. Contentment and thanksgiving for what we have brings peace. I’m thankful to be content.

Let us be thankful for our time to live, to laugh and to love.
Think of all the things you are thankful for and be blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving dear reader!
I am thankful for you.