It's Thanksgiving and I have much to be grateful for. As I sit in this VA hospital while my husband visits with his doctor it is overwhelming to see the amount of men and women so badly affected by war. There are those without an arm, or in a wheelchair without a leg, sometimes two. There is hearing or sight loss, not to mention the myriad other issues including cancer due to poisons like Agent Orange and other contaminants, which cannot be seen. My husband lost a close cousin a few months ago from esophagus cancer, and we learned it was likely contracted from drinking contaminated water during training before going over to Viet Nam. Still many of these men and women are willing to smile despite their problems.
God has blessed me with an amazing family. Along with my incredible husband, I have three beautiful daughters and two wonderful sons, three charming son-in-laws, a gorgeous daughter-in-law and fourteen adorable grandchildren. I have extended family and a church family who I know supports and loves me despite my flaws. Additionally I can claim friendships that reach well down into the heart. For these I am grateful. I have a warm home, plenty to eat, clothes that fit and shoes to wear. Again, I have much reason to be grateful.
I am also blessed over and over again by the gift of words. To be able to put words on paper which others read and can relate or respond to, brings me much joy. I am honored and humbled by the opportunities in which I can help others.
Still there is sadness. I know there are people who hurt because they don’t have the “material” blessings I have. There are those in great need emotionally because they have suffered a great loss this past year or are enduring a trauma even as I write this. There are those who want nothing more than death to take them from their pain filled world. We are a nation facing increasing Christian persecution and watch as Israel fights for her life. There are those who battle addictions, mental illness, great fear of the unknown, poverty, starvation and those who are lonely and search for meaning in their lives.
So as I look around my world I can see both extremes; the world filled with all those who “have” and those who “have not.” I have found sometimes even those who “have not” in the material world are much wealthier than those who have much on the surface. Those who have the Messiah as their Lord and Savior, even if they have very little material wealth in this life, have much to be thankful for. They have a hope for something much greater than any of our imaginations can even consider.
So along with my friends, family and material blessings, I am thankful for every veteran who was willing to fight for our freedom; for every person who can look past his pain and smile; for each person who reads my words; for those who minister to those who have little; and for those who share the Gospel. Mostly, I am thankful for a Savior who loved me enough to go to the cross.
My heart is full. I hope yours is too. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.