Calvonia Radford 11/20/2017
Do you remember singing “A Thanksgiving poem” by Lydia Maria Child? It goes like this.
Over the river and through the woods
To Grandfather’s house we go.
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh
Through white and drifted snow.
The millennial generation will have a hard time imagining the “white and drifted snow” of Thanksgiving season. In my day, November ushered in massive snows. Often we had to cancel our trips to grandmother’s house.
Over the years, while transitioning into my 50’s, I have seen less and less of those snow drifts on Thanksgiving. I am not a scientist so I will not debate whether the cause is global warming.
What I will stand firm on is my belief that along with the decrease in the snow came diminishing thankfulness.
I have seen a slippery slope of ungratefulness induced by trauma. We have had our share of trauma this year. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions. Mass shootings in places of entertainment, educational institutions and houses of worship. Terrorist attacks and cyber-attacks. Giant sinkholes gobbling up both humans and material possessions. Foodborne illnesses and infectious diseases. Political drama and civil unrest.
All these devastating incidents remind me of the song, “GLOOM, DESPAIR, AND AGONY ON ME” from the TV Show “Hee-Haw” (1969 -1992) written by Buck Owens & Roy Clark.
What do we do?
What do we do when we do not know what to do? When the care of the world overshadows our blessings and we forget to say Thank you!
What do we do when the turkey meal is more appetizing than the family and friends gathered round the table?
How do we crawl out of the funk and into fellowship and festive praise?
Ponder the Past
The prophet Jeremiah took some time to ponder the doom, gloom, and agony of his past and saw glimpses of God’s hand of mercy over them. This recollection gave him hope. He then came to the realization that God’s mercies are not extinct, but new every morning.
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23
Position yourself in a Posture of Praise
The Bible records numerous accounts of King David’s tragedies. Some self-inflicted and others brought on by his enemies. In the midst of all his pain, David found a stance of praise. He knew the secret. Praise invites God into your atmosphere. Regardless of our situations or circumstances, we must offer up a yet praise.
“But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.” Psalm 71:14
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my“
“I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1
“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Psalm 22:3
Peer through God’s promises into your future.
As God’s children, we have some promises that we can claim. His word is true. We must turn our eyes away from today’s challenges and into tomorrow’s promised destiny.
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3
“But you, O LORD, are a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of my head.” Psalm 3:3
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11
I admonish you, to join me this Thanksgiving season looking to God, the one who loves us unconditionally. Though there be unrest, sickness, and disease, though tragedies become more and more common, God is still on the throne. That in itself is reason to give him praise.