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The day has finally arrived!  At this very moment, majority of families are slowly waking up and parents are traipsing over to the coffee pot for some much needed hot black liquid that with a douse of cream and the sweetness of sugar is a terrific start to any day.  Children are excitedly grabbing clothes; regardless of whether they match or not because they can’t wait to go see their Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents.   Soon the broadcast of the Macy’s Day Parade and all of those familiar characters in giant form that dance down the main streets of New York City will be adorning the screen, while last minute touches are placed on food that is either traveling to someone’s house or being served right there at home.  Football games will be a prevalent sight soon enough and as the turkey and fixin’s settle in and sleepiness takes over, many will dose the afternoon away, while others may opt for a brisk walk through the neighborhood; soaking in the day and being thankful…..

Thankful….I have seen that on may Facebook posts and across the newspapers and television over the past few days.  People asking ,”what are you thankful for?”  Great question and one that deserves some time taken in thinking it through and realizing just what are we thankful for.  Naturally, many of us state we are thankful for our families and our friends.  I have read many posts where people are thankful for their health, their home and their jobs amidst this ever changing economy.  I am with all of these folks in being grateful for these things especially for having God in my life, but I also feel it is very important to be thankful for the trials and tribulations in our life.  Those shattered dreams or situations that have occurred that may have brought heartbreak or sadness into our lives.  Those unexpected events that have left us speechless and unsure of what the next move is going to be.  You may be asking, why be thankful for that?  For the pain?  The hurt?  I feel it’s the life lessons that come from it and from that, what we can later share with others who are experiencing the same kind of loss or devastation.  The ability to seek God; draw closer to Him and from that partake in a wonderful testimony of how you were lost but then found, broken but now restored.  This may not make sense and may not be easy as you are walking through it, but know in the end, there is something to be learned and from this you will not only grow as a person but have the wonderful opportunity to bless others.

Those we serve here at The Salvation Army are walking through these trials of life and many of them through our programs are learning how to make better choices and most importantly how to learn from their experiences and difficult situations.  I’ve heard many of them say they are “grateful” and “thankful” to have walked through the fire so they could now enjoy the feel of a cool and refreshing rain; the rain of change and from that change a new life.  They realized that it’s easy to be thankful when times are good and everything seems to be going your way but to be smiling and grateful when times are hard;  you aren’t sure where you’re next meal is coming from or if you and your family will be in your home by the end of the month is a different story.

There is Joy in Hope and so many individuals and families who enter our doors are seeking this and The Salvation Army is quick to respond with Jesus at the helm to show folks that a light can be found in the dark and if you faithfully follow that light, the darkness will eventually be no more and the light of new beginnings will surround you.  That’s not to say, there won’t be dark days or hard times to come, but with the “tools” you now have, which includes Christ in your life, you are no longer alone and hopeless, there is hope and a reason to be eternally “Thankful!”

I wish all of you an incredible Thanksgiving…enjoy the time with your family and take a moment to reflect on the life you are living and how you are blessing others around you…

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

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