The LORD is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts;
so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
- Psalm 28:7
Dear Sisters and Brothers;
I have to admit that I have always found November to be a curious month. On one hand, it is rather stark. The trees have shed the brilliant colors of October and now stand bare with their remains littered upon the ground. The day is shorter, the temperature is colder and, as New Englanders, we realize that this is merely a transition to an even darker and more frigid season to come.
And yet, November is when our country has chosen to celebrate our thankfulness to God. Why not during the blooming of May or the warmth of July? Granted, November is the month when the Pilgrims and Wampanoags held their feast to give thanks for a successful corn harvest. But still, there are plenty of other, more joyful seasons for us to feel thankful.
Perhaps, though, that is the point. Perhaps it is too easy to give thanks when the days are warm and sunny, and our lives seem carefree. So easy, in fact, that we even forget about giv- ing thanks or our need to live grateful lives.
Perhaps it is more appropriate to offer our thanks to God during those other times; times when our lives, as well as the world around us, seem dark and gloomy. As hard as we may try, we can’t always remain in those warm, sunny places. Things happen – sometimes very unpleasant things. And when they do, we are reminded that, as followers of Jesus, we have a strength that is beyond us to help us through any circumstance we may face with the confi- dence and hope that we are not alone. The God who loves us is there to walk the path with us; each and every step of the way.
So, no matter what the circumstances of your life may be this Thanksgiving; if it will be a great celebration with family and friends, or a more personal time when we may wonder what the coming season has in store for us, we can trust in the assurance that, no matter what we face, we do not face it alone. The One who created us in that perfect image of love is always with us to transform our lives – and the world through us.
May this season, and all the seasons you face, be one of hope and possibility.