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Time to give thanksPosted Tuesday, November 20, 2012, at 11:36 AM
Very shortly now we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Will you count your blessings and give the Lord thanks for his numerous blessings during the past year? If we had nothing else to be thankful for and are still alive and up and going then we have something to be thankful for.
Some who make their living from the occupation of farming have had a more difficult time if they farmed without irrigation. Their yields and income may have fallen some behind their mark of hope. However, the agriculture report says that the yields are at a good normal and the spirit of those who have prospered surely have a true spirit of thankfulness. Those good yields and a better price than just a couple of years ago make it possible for them to go again. Truly, the Lord has showered his blessings on many. So let's be thankful for what we have and give thanks to the Lord who gives us all good things.
There is a short Psalm in the bible where the writer expresses things for which he praises the Lord. The Psalm is Psalm 24. It reads like this, "If it had not been the Lord was on our side, now may Israel say; if it had not been the Lord was on our side, when men rose up against us: then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul. Then the proud waters had gone over our soul. Blessed is the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped ad a bird out of a snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and the earth." What a lofty expression of praise.
He mentions about how the Lord had protected him. After all his troubles and in spite of them he was alive and still going about. He then talked about how the waters had overwhelmed him but the Lord had still seen him through. We probably can better understand this by the hurricanes that overwhelmed the New Orleans area and then the one that surprised the New York and eastern seacoast areas. When we saw homes covered to the point of floating away we know first-hand of what floods of water can do. Can you recall a time when a hurricane started in near Mexico as a sort of weather disturbance and it moved east and then North to the New England states as one of the most destructive hurricanes that we can remember? That is the way it moved and went inland again and even toward Canada.
Right now thousands of helpers are in that area trying to help them get back to some semblance of normal living. Think of the thousands of electrical service workers are trying to help them get the power back on to try to keep them from freezing to death. I heard some being interviewed by the news people asking how he felt and he expressed the feeling of so many at the terrible losses, but he said my family is still alive and well and we will go again. It could have been worse but they will go again. We always have many things to be thankful for.
About forty years ago when I pastored in Belmont, Ky., we had an elderly man named Mr. Ben Engle. Mr. Ben had a little house that sat in a pasture near the church. He was like a lot of older men that had arthritis and other problems with walking. We had some sort of a testimony service where we talked about what we were thankful for at the approaching Thanksgiving. He stood up and said that he was thankful for the sureness he could just put one foot after another. You could see the path from his front door to the road and they looked like two car tracks. His steps were so short, almost no distance from one step or another. I still remember what he said.
As we come to Thanksgiving time may we stop and truly think of the way that the Lord has blessed us. The scripture writer mentions how the Lord was on our side. I want to think that way too but I also want to be on his side. He deserves our praise and thanksgiving.
I like the little song we hear around Thanksgiving. It goes like this. "As the world looks upon me, as I struggle along. They say I have nothing but they are so wrong. In my heart I'm rejoicing and how I wish they could see. Thank you Lord for your blessings on me. There's a roof up above me, I've a good place to sleep. There is food on my table and shoes on my feet. In my heart I'm rejoicing and how I wish they could see. Thank you Lord for your blessing on me. Well I know that I'm not wealthy and these clothes are not new. And I don't have much money but Lord I have you. In my heart I'm rejoicing and how they could see. Thank you Lord for your blessings on me."
As we eat whether we are alone or surrounded by other friends and relatives let's not neglect thanking the Lord for watching over us and keeping us during the last 12 months. I have lied out my average life and am living on some grace years. Most of those years have been good and I hope to have a few more. But whatever, the good hand of God has been upon me. I do give thanks for everything.
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Rev. William Piercy is pastor of Blackwater Baptist Church near Manila.