Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We Can Never Be Too Thankful

We Can Never Be Too Thankful

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (New Living Translation)

For many years I had written a devotional for the Advent Devotional book and then I began to procrastinate more and more. I would get so stressed out that I would finally convince myself that I just didn’t have anything worth writing about. So I took the easy way out and just quit writing a devotional. 
But as I would begin reading what others had written, I would be so touched and reminded of so many blessings and things that I had to be thankful for from my past. So I set out this year to try once again to express my thankfulness during the Advent season. I have to admit that I still need lots of work on the procrastination part.

There are always stories or traditions of things that happened in other people’s families during the Advent season that were identical to some of my childhood experiences or at least they caused me to reminisce of very similar experiences. It was like travelling back in time. I could almost smell and taste the food and in the background you could hear the laughter and chatter of adults, and the noise and pandemonium of children at play. As I read, it always jogged my memory and emotions about what great parents and a loving sister I had as well as an extended family of loving aunts, uncles and cousins – things that I now realize I took for granted for a long time in my life.

One usually writes about someone in their life who did or said something that had a profound effect on their life. I am reminded of one early Christmas Eve Communion in the life of our church when John Reed gave a brief talk on what the Communion service meant to him. John had been a WWII POW in Germany and he spoke about how they celebrated Holy Communion even as restricted as they were and about silently repeating the Lord’s Prayer over and over and over. Never have I so enjoyed the freedom to be at the Lord’s Table as I did that night and from that time forward. I still remember it just like it was yesterday.

There’s always someone or someone with a close friend or relative that has had a serious accident or illness and survived. I immediately think about how blessed I am to have survived a head-­‐on car crash in 2000 and then later have a granddaughter with a major deformity of her heart survive three open heart surgeries. Just recently she celebrated her sixth birthday. Actually I have been blessed with four wonderful grandchildren since my accident.

These are just a few of the items from the devotionals that touched my heart and served as personal reminders of the many ways I have been blessed in this world; yet they pale in comparison to the biggest blessing any of us will ever receive in the birth of our Lord and Savior so that we might have eternal life. It is only through this preparation during the Advent season that we can be spiritually renewed and fully aware of the magnificent and blessed Gift we have received!

Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we pause and give thanks this day for the many blessings you bring to us each and every day, but especially the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, who came into this world to die for us so that we might have everlasting life. Let us give thanks for this blessing as well as all others today and everyday!

Jim McKee


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