November 25, 2021 Pastor Mark Sage

The Most Unusual Thanksgiving

The Most Unusual Thanksgiving

Have you ever been in a tight spot; an uncomfortable situation; a trial or a strange place during Thanksgiving?  One thanksgiving I went to in our first year of marriage was with some relatives of Stephanie.  It was in a nice part of California in a beautiful home.  I was 22, Stephanie was 21 and pregnant with our first daughter, Hannah. It was a delicious meal and nice people.  We finished our first helping and I watched to see who was going to get a second helping (no way was I going to be first).  Finally, another young man got up to go get “seconds”, so Stephanie and I followed and got ours.  It turns out, he only got a glass of water and Stephanie and I returned to the table – and no one else at the entire dinner got another bite to eat – so we sat there and ate while they all watched (at least Stephanie was eating for two, I did not have a good excuse).

While that is a funny story – there are many who go through difficult times during Thanksgiving or other holidays.  I remember in 1983, riding in our 1973 wood paneled Ford Station wagon in the rear facing bench seat heading out to a hopeful Thanksgiving with my siblings, mom, and stepdad, then arriving back home five or so days later, no longer having our stepdad since he passed away on our trip.  It was tough and heartbreaking.  In most of our lifetimes, there will be Thanksgivings like that.  We may feel depressed or lonely because of some loss, stress, or some difficulty.  Can I remind you: IF YOU ARE SAVED AND CHRIST DWELLS WITHIN YOU, YOU HAVE THE MOST PRECIOUS GIFT ANYONE CAN EVER RECEIVE?   You have someone who is dwelling within you that has called you His friend in John 15:15. Jesus Christ has promised you: “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). Don’t forget that this Thanksgiving, you are not alone.  The Lord is there even in the most difficult circumstances.

I’m reminded of the most unusual Thanksgiving in the Bible.  It is found in Jonah 2:9 where Jonah says: “But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.”  Now likely this did not happen on the 4th Thursday of November – but it was from belly of whale, and it was with every bit of sincerity.  Jonah was alone and at the end of his rope, but he came to his senses and realized that though he was in the belly of whale and though he had disobeyed God - his God still deserved thanksgiving.   Today, may you and I be sincere and thank God for what He has done and will continue to do in our lives.  He will be faithful to us and save us.  He will be with us through the good times and even more so in the tough times.  He is always there to comfort, guide, and fellowship with us.  Even in the midst of a difficult time, He is there for you right now.

So, be reminded, that it the midst of your holiday, thought it may be normal or possibly unusual - give God the THANKS He deserves, make it public, unashamed, and sincere that the reason for your Thanksgiving and every Thanksgiving is because of WHAT HE HAS GIVEN TO YOU – SALVATION AND AN ABUDNANT LIFE IN HIM!  Let all know that Christ with you is all that you need and that you can be content with Him.  What a great opportunity we all have to able share that great truth and testify of His goodness today.  I’m not saying you must preach the Gospel today – but let the emphasis be that God is good, He is still on the throne, and your Thanksgiving is for His love and mercy in your life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pastor Mark Sage