When our girls were young, at Thanksgiving we started a Thankful Tree. We drew a tree trunk on paper and each of us had a branch on which to write what were thankful for that year. Throughout many of those years my thanks related to activities involving our family or enjoyable personal blessings I had received. In recent years however, it has been more difficult and sometimes even depressing to evaluate my life. I seem to associate every season with a different health problem: in winter – ear and eye pain; in spring – severe allergies; in summer - major back relapses. And that doesn’t include emotional issues or family problems. If I continue this train of thought, I lose the entire purpose of the thankful tree!
Yes, it is true that physically my life has changed drastically over the past 25 years. But as I remember the difficulties of the past year, I also need to remember the blessings that God gave through them: medicines that gave pain relief, even if temporarily; a special honey that greatly reduced my allergy symptoms; a wise physical therapist who gave me just the right exercises; a cushion that allows me to sit for longer periods without pain. These may not be what “normal” people would write on their thankful tree, but they are definitely gifts from God that have brought me through difficult times. And I must not forget the wonderful support of family and friends.
As I remember my afflictions this Thanksgiving season, may I also see God’s constant faithfulness and compassion that have carried me through another year. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 118:1).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, through every season of my life You do not change and Your compassions do not fail. Great is Your Faithfulness to me. Amen.