“Trials and suffering can actually refine and deepen gratefulness if we allow them to show us not to take things for granted. Our national holiday of gratitude, Thanksgiving, was born and grew out of hard times. The first Thanksgiving took place after nearly half the pilgrims died from a rough winter and year. It became a national holiday in 1863 in the middle of the Civil War and was moved to its current date in the 1930s following the Depression.” (“How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times” by Robert Emmons)
A Thanksgiving Prayer
by Helen Steiner Rice
Thank You, God, for everything …
The big things and the small,
For “every good gift comes from God” …
The Giver of them all.
And all too often we accept
Without any thanks or praise,
The gifts You send as blessings
Each day in many ways.
And so at this Thanksgiving time,
We offer up a prayer;
To thank You, God, for giving us
A lot more than our share.
First, thank You for the little things
That often come our way;
The things we take for granted
And don’t mention when we pray.
The unexpected courtesy,
The thoughtful, kindly deed,
A hand reached out to help us …
In the time of sudden need.
Oh, make us more aware, dear God,
Of little daily graces,
That come to us with “sweet surprise,”
From never-dreamed-of places.
Then, thank You for the “miracles”
We are much too blind to see,
And give us new awareness
Of our many gifts from Thee.
And help us to remember
That the “key” to “life” and “living,”
Is to make each prayer a “prayer of thanks,”
And every day THANKSGIVING.
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above;
it comes down from the Father of lights
[the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens],
in whom there is no variation [no rising or setting]
or shadow cast by His turning
[for He is perfect and never changes].”
Perhaps because of difficult circumstances, troubles, or losses, you’re having a hard time feeling thankful at all. Maybe your cry is, “Why, God? Where are You? Do You even care about me?”
Yes, Jesus cares. Deeply. He knows what you’re going through. He understands you better than anyone ever can or will. He cries with you. He opens His arms wide and longs for you to rest in His love for you.
Does Jesus Care?
“Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press,
And the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
O yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary,
The long night dreary,
I know my Savior cares.”