The following Guideposts commentary was published on December 1, 2014, by Pablo Diaz. I wanted to share a portion of his message as it is still current in 2021.
“It is so easy to miss out on the spiritual blessings of Thanksgiving Day. We can get caught up with Christmas shopping especially with television advertisements airing sooner than ever. Some of us will even find ourselves on Thanksgiving Day in stores seeking great bargains for gifts.”
Although Christmas is probably the most favorite time of the year, I am grateful that at Thanksgiving we can pause and thank God for our blessings.
In Psalm 103:2, Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.
“Imagine if each of us took time to think and write in our journal, tablet or smart phone about the things we are grateful for. If every day we jotted down something which we are thankful for, our world would be a happier place. The practice of thanksgiving produces joy and satisfaction. A thankful heart is a joyful heart. Happy are those who are thankful.”
“What people, opportunities, challenges or changes are you most thankful for? Make a list. Practice thanksgiving and have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!”
—from my friend Susan Hardison Bissette
I wrote down one thing for which I am truly thankful: that I am a Christian! You see, after the fire when we were meeting at Camp Caroline, I was not a Christian. Yet I had been going to Bethany since 2000 and taking part in the life of the church for my family’s sake. Prior to that I had only been in a church perhaps a dozen times since 1977 because I thought religion was illogical.
I’ll admit, the people at Bethany began to change that. As I talked with some who had deep faith, I saw something they had in common: confidence. They were confident that their God exists; that He loves them; that He is faithful; and that He is with them always. Belief in God inspires confidence, I learned. And I realized that I wanted that. I began seriously participating in Sunday School and reading the Bible and realized that I had gotten something wrong in my life for too long a time.
About that time, I was asked to be an elder—me, a non-Christian! But after deep introspection, I knew that I loved Bethany’s people, God, His Son and that I was going to become a Christian. So I became an elder and then a Christian.
I have tried to fulfill my responsibilities as an elder, as a member of Bethany and as a Christian. I am far from perfect, but I am confident in the Father and in the Son! That is a lot to be thankful for. My life has been far richer since I accepted Jesus. That can be your experience too. Practice thanksgiving!