Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving: What If?

Thanksgiving.  Lots to be thankful for.  

But what if? 

Looking over the things I put on our "blessings tree," I stop to consider, how many could be taken away? 

Of the 23 things I listed, only four or five are sure, undestroyable things. The cross. Music. Dr. Fearon, because that's connected to an event in the past that can't be undone. Different seasons. And friends, because odds are I will never be the only non-enemy in any area. 

Image result for syrian children's hospital
But everything else could be taken away. The four family members can be taken away. Working plumbing and clean water aren't guaranteed. Lake Superior, while not likely to disappear, is on my list because I see it every year.  If I can't travel, that might as well be gone. Trees and my house can burn. Books and libraries can be destroyed. Fear can replace safety, Bibles and worship can be forbidden. Vehicles and airplanes can break down. Internet access can disappear in an instant. 

Image result for syrian children's hospital
These pictures may not be necessarily recent. But they did happen.  They are real.  Those were real people, at a real moment in time.  
PHOTO: Syrian civil defense volunteers and rescuers remove a baby from under the rubble of a destroyed building following an air strike on the rebel-held neighborhood of al-Kalasa in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on April 28, 2016.

What if that came here? 

To America?  To Montana?  

And Thanksgiving Day came?  

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess. 5:18

ALL circumstances. Not just when we have 4 walls and a roof. Not just when we have a husband and children.  Not just when we have a table full of food.  Not just when we're healthy.  Not just when we're safe.  

When we're not safe. When we're not healthy.  When we're alone.  When we're in need. 

Give thanks. 

How?  If that was my child in those pictures... if that was me screaming... if that was my husband pulling babies from the rubble... if that rubble was my house...

Give thanks. 

I searched for a Thanksgiving playlist on Amazon this morning and found this album.  The first song was a hymn I've not heard in awhile, but it's one of my favorites. And in that song is the answer for what I could give thanks for if those pictures became my life. (Praise and thanks can be synonyms; we praise God for His goodness, we thank God for His goodness.) 

Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven;
to His feet thy tribute bring;
ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, 
evermore His praises sing:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise the everlasting King.

Praise Him for his grace and favor
to our fathers in distress;
praise Him still the same forever, 
slow to chide and swift to bless:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Glorious in His faithfulness.

Father-like, He tends and spares us; 
well our feeble frame He knows;
in His hand He gently bears us,
 rescues us from all our foes.

Alleluia, alleluia! 
Widely yet His mercy flows.

Angels, help us to adore Him;
ye behold Him face to face;
sun and moon bow down before Him, 
dwellers all in time and space.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise with us the God of grace.

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