Give Thanks

It’s early the morning hours of Thanksgiving. The last pie is baked and all the side dishes refrigerated. I’ve just turned out the lights and climbed the stairs, thinking how truly gracious and trustworthy God has shown Himself to be since another Thanksgiving a decade ago in this same place.

Just before Thanksgiving 2003, my husband came home early and announced that he had been “selected” to be part of a resource action. If you are unfamiliar with this bit of corporate speak, it has nothing to do with winning the lottery. My husband had been chosen for layoff after 15 years of award-winning service.

The family breadwinner had lost his job. Happy holidays!

This was about the scariest news I could have imagined. I’d been a stay home Mom for a decade. I did freelance jobs from time to time. But it was a hobby, nothing like the career I’d left behind to parent my own children. (This wasn’t exactly an heroic decision on my part. I couldn’t afford daycare; and could never get comfortable with the idea of giving strangers that much face-time with my offspring.)

After my husband shared his news and handed me a thick severance package filled with legalese, I still remember the frightful possibilities that jumped into my mind like a leapfrog: foreclosure, tax liens, homelessness, possibly facing a health crisis with no health insurance, having to make a long distance move to a job far away from aging parents. There were other questions: How would our marriage weather the stress? Would our family survive this?

That was just the major stuff. Later, myriad small worries crowded my mind, like which “nice but not necessary” things would have to go: my daughter’s ballet classes, the lawn service or maybe the garbage service?

Somewhere in there I was reminded that we were believers in Christ. And this crisis was an opportunity to see if my Christianity was real or just for show. Was I going to believe God or not? Could I count on Him when everything familiar moved? Did I really trust Him like that?

Ten years later, I am thankful that by God’s grace, we weathered the storm. We still live in the same house where I got that terrible news just before Thanksgiving so long ago. I’m still married to the same man. He still works in the same industry. Those children whom I worried might be homeless have spent the intervening years sleeping in their same beds, driving to see their grandparents in the same city. Our health is good; our minds are peaceful.

God has proven Himself faithful.

When we sit around our home and talk about Christianity and why we trust Christ for time and eternity, as we sometimes do, I honestly tell my children that I know God is real because we have history together.

I am thankful that, if you walk with God, you will find that He is just who He says He is. And He will do just what He says.

A God like that deserves my undying gratitude, love and obedience.

As our family sits down to dinner this afternoon and passes the acorn to share what we are thankful for, join us in following the instruction of Psalm 100:4

 Enter His gates with thanksgiving; 

go into His courts with praise.

Give thanks to Him and praise His name.