When my sister Barbara was about 9 months old, she had a bad case of impetigo (red, scabby sores all over her body). My mom, a 22-year-old single mother of 3 girls, struggling to keep our heads above water, did all she knew to keep Barb as comfortable as possible. A neighbor friend invited om to church with these words, “If you bring your baby to church, God will heal her.” [A side note: I love and trust God but cannot personally imagine being so bold or confident…just sayin’.] Mom was at the end of her rope, so she consented. After the singing and preaching, as the service was closing, our neighbor came and took Barb from Mom’s arms, walked down to the front and asked the pastor to pray for her, which he did. The next morning every scab and sore was gone except for a small one in Barb’s very chubby elbow crease. That morning Mom vowed, “Any God who would love my baby this much, I will serve for the rest of my life.” And she has.
Mom turned 90 in September. She has walked with God, sought to know Him through prayer and reading the Bible, and has prayed for her girls every day of her life. Mom is faithful to God, faithful to her family and faithful to her friends. She has modeled love and faithfulness to us throughout our lives. I am deeply grateful for the legacy Mom has given our family.
A few years ago my sister Connie, an artist, asked for a picture of Mom’s hands on her Bible. This Snapshot is Connie’s picture of Mom’s hands and the faith that has guided her throughout her life. For Connie, Barb, Jeni and me, it expresses a deep foundational gratitude. After all these years and through the really tough stuff we’ve faced along the way, we are still a close family. I love being with my sisters and nothing delights Mom more than her girls. We are deeply grateful for Mom’s love and perseverance.
This season of Giving Thanks seems best captured in this Snapshot…the love of God, of family and of friends. 2020 has not been easy for anyone and it has taken its toll on my family. I choose every day how I will respond to more bad news, more sadness, more loss. I am utterly dependent on the kindness of God to meet me in those hard places. I believe in His kindness and His goodness. I believe He sees and He cares, and I work to focus on that goodness every day.
This week, as you celebrate Thanksgiving in this upside down world of ours, my prayer is that you would see the goodness of God in your life. Whether its in the faces of the people you love, the resources that make your life comfortable, or the beauty of the world around you, take a few moments and say Thank You to the One who gives so freely.
For your encouragement:
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
A psalm of thanksgiving.
1 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me.
You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you restored my health.
3 You brought me up from the grave, O Lord.
You kept me from falling into the pit of death.
4 Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones!
Praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.Psalm 136