BY REV. DR. PHILIP CRAIG
Greater Springfield Community Church
Scripture: Psalm 107
Many people never realize the favor that has been placed on their lives. We go through life overlooking the many blessings we are saturated with on a daily basis. In many cases, we even focus on the mishaps, the issues and the challenges we encounter throughout life’s endeavors. Why do we keep the trials of our life in the front of our memory bank and seldom think about the goodness we are experiencing on a daily basis?
Although this week marks one of the most popular and celebrated holidays in this country, it is also a depressing moment for many as well. Thanksgiving is thought to be the day of giving thanks for our family, homes, children, finances and all the other good things of which we are in possession. You see “Happy Thanksgiving” in the papers, on the TV and on the radio during every commercial break. The reminder of Thanksgiving is exciting to many people who look forward to the big family dinner, taking the kids to the parade and enjoying life.
On the flip side, some aren’t all that excited when holidays come around because so many people are reminded of lost ones who are not here to celebrate with them anymore. Many people suffer from depression during this season because they might be living in shelters, unable to spend time with family, have poor finances or broken relationships or just don’t see any good in their lives.
If we continue to focus on the things that we don’t have, we are inviting negative thoughts and days of doom into our future forecast. When someone has left us, our financial situation has changed or we are going through a tough time in our life, this is the time to focus on what God has done for others and ourselves in the past. I don’t have everything I want, but I am thankful I woke up this morning with movement in my arms and legs and my children are healthy. Many times, we need to become creative with what God has given us.
I recall a time when I had a major struggle with my finances and my children were small. I didn’t have money to take them to the carnival or Coney Island to get on the rides—and I felt ashamed and less of a man during this season.
However, instead of giving up, complaining and become negative on life, I turned what I thought was a bad situation into a blessing. I would take my children to the park and I created a game called rock hunting, during which we would find rocks, bring them home and paint them. My daughters loved it and when I saw the smile on their faces, it made me feel like I had $1 million in my pocket.
Don’t let life’s challenges get you down. It may be a time for you to shift gears and do something different this season.
Allow your mind to be creative and think about the things that God has given you, rather than the things you wish you had. The fact that you are able to read this article today is a reason to give God praise. There are 285 million people in the world who are visually impaired and another 39 million who are totally blind. These individuals would be glad to accept your problems for even one day of sight this Thanksgiving Day.
I challenge you to see what God sees on this Thanksgiving Day—and if you are able to volunteer, donate or help someone during the holidays, find it in your heart to do so. I guarantee God will see your heart and store a blessing on reserve for you when you may need one yourself. In all things, give God thanks because His goodness and mercy endure for a lifetime. God bless you and have a happy Thanksgiving.