Thursday, February 29, 2024

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Giving Thanks

By Amy Patsch

Did you sit with friends and family during Thanksgiving and discuss being thankful? Some families make it a tradition that everyone is to bring to the table one thing they are thankful for to share with the others. 
What can we be thankful for this year, a year of inflation, war, and layoffs? Well, for me it is getting Neil back in order with two cataract surgeries and a new knee! I am mightily thankful that he is seeing better and walking better than he has in years. So, maybe I am shortsighted and can only see as far as my doorstep. 
What about you? Do you have a thankful heart for at least one thing God has done for you this year? I pray that everyone reading this has one blessed moment they cherish from this past year – some realization that God has touched you with His grace and given you peace, or comfort, or healing of mind or body. 
As we awake each day, do we ask God what is in store, or do we just jump into the day and wait to see if anything pops up? Usually if I start my day without talking it over with God first the things that pop up are not pleasant – or possibly I’m just unable able to cope with them because I haven’t first chatted with my heavenly Father and thanked Him for what He is about to provide for me. I look forward each day to His patience, kindness, love, grace, and more which He extends to me to be reflected from me towards others. I strain intentionally in an effort to be a mirror to others of God’s bounty. 
As I woke up this morning (Thanksgiving) the sun was shining, and it was in the high 40s. Neil is just about finished with physical therapy for his knee and he wanted to see how it worked while bike riding. We had a wonderful ride south on the island, and although it was a bit brisk it was a beautiful day. 
Truly I saw the elation in Neil’s face as he registered how pain free it was for him to bicycle again. Of course, I have to Praise God! His mercies are everlasting. 
We can find joy in the most mundane things if we know God has helped us in and throughout our lives. I’ve had three procedures on my heart that have given me the ability again to walk to the boardwalk and back. What a joy! I love to walk and I actually remember one day many years ago talking with God as I was strolling down the boardwalk and saying, “Oh, God, please let me always be able to walk as it brings me such joy.” But then, for quite a few years, I was unable to walk that far. Yet, my Bible tells me to praise God at all times and to be thankful always. 
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. 
So I rejoice in the good times and in the not so good times. I give thanks in all circumstances because God wants me to. My inability to walk did not stop me from rejoicing and giving thanks to God and it caused me to seek His face even more to discern His will. I wondered why the ability for long walks was taken away from me, but I also asked Him to restore me. I continue to praise Him now that I can walk more but I will praise Him even if I am again hindered from strolling the boardwalk. 
I truly believe my Lord loves me and seeks the best for me because He says He does. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. My good is God’s goal for me. I may not know what is good for me at any given time, just as a child might not know going to bed at a given time is good for them. But my God knows and I trust Him. 
As Christians all of us should know God’s words to us as given to us in the Bible. How could I ever accept something like losing the ability to walk being good for me unless I know in my heart and soul that God knows I love Him and because of that He has promised that everything that happens to me is within His will. God’s hands cover over me. Nothing touches me that has not gone through the Father’s fingers first. What a comforting knowledge. 
If you have not yet committed your love to God, you can do that now. You can know the peace that passes all understanding. You are invited into the family of God; all you have to do is say yes. 
ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City. Email her at writerGoodGod@gmail.com

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