Thanksgiving Lessons

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Thanksgiving lessons

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted… — Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

Evie wasn’t friendly or accommodating like the other servers at the Waffle House. The day before Thanksgiving, when she charged me $1.70 for an ounce of milk for my coffee, I slapped a couple of choice labels on her too. “Grumpy” was my favorite.
“You sure aren’t in much of a Thanksgiving frame of mind,” my sister said. “Where’s all that kindness and gratitude?”
So I decided to change my tack. “You like magazines?” I asked Evie.

I’d brought along a couple of home decor glossies.
“Don’t have time for picture books like some,” Evie grumbled. Then she paused and took in the cover. Featured was a mouth-watering pie.
A slow smile crept across Evie’s face. “Well, I’ll be,” she said. “A pee-can pie. Gimme that thing. I’m going to make my man a pee-can pie for Turkey Day.”

Another server stole a glance at the photo of the pie and at Evie. “Don’t be thinking that magazine’s yours,” Evie said, jabbing the server’s elbow. “My friend at table five just gave it to me. I’m making my Sammy one of those pies. It’s his favorite, you know.”

Later, when Evie brought my order of scrambled eggs and bacon, she related the story of “her man.” They’d been together for thirty-five years. She’d baked him a pecan pie when they were newlyweds, and he’d raved about it ever since. But now he had end-stage lung cancer. Doctors predicted this would be his last Thanksgiving.

I’d been all wrong to judge Evie without knowing what made her the way she was. I’d thank God for her and ask Him to give her a double helping of blessings too.

Evie wasn’t mean-spirited at all, Lord. She simply had a broken heart. She can be my Thanksgiving teacher if I only let her. — Roberta Messner

Digging Deeper: Psalm 147:3; John 14:27; 1 Peter 5:7

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Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him… having been deeply rooted [in Him] and now being continually built up in Him and…  established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude. — Colossians 2:6-7 (AMP)

I recently read a story about the first settlers who came to New England and the great hardships they suffered those first few winters. During one of their public assemblies, a member of their group proposed that they proclaim a fast and remind God of their many needs. Another man stood and declared that, instead of bombarding Heaven with what they lacked, they celebrate all that they had for which to be thankful. Rather than fasting, the man suggested, they should hold a day of thanksgiving. It could be from this very meeting that we now have come to observe the tradition of Thanksgiving. I’d like to think so.

Having an attitude of gratitude is something I learned from reading Norman Vincent Peale’s books. I found his words compelling enough to start my own gratitude journal. Every morning I list five things for which I am most grateful. My list isn’t anything profound. This morning I noted the music of the songbird outside my window and the excitement I feel for a knitting project I’m about to begin.

I discovered that counting my blessings starts my off day on a positive note. Instead of worrying about my to-do list, I take a short pause to thank God for this day and all that it will hold. It helps me to remember how very blessed I am.

All the paper produced in the world could not contain the blessings You have poured upon me, Lord. May I always have an attitude of gratitude.
 — Debbie Macomber

Digging Deeper: 1 Chronicles 16:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Excerpted with permission from Daily Guideposts 2018, copyright Guideposts.

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Your Turn

This week as we have our hearts even more focused on thankfulness, let’s keep our eyes open for people we can bless! What are you taking note of in counting your blessings today? We want to hear from you! Come share on our blog! ~ Devotionals Daily

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