Hope and Thanksgiving

40 Days of Hope-Day 14

Hope and Thanksgiving
Day 14
There are probably some who will read this that feel little reason to be thankful on this Thanksgiving Day.
Life can be unfair, we experience things that steal our hope, our thankfulness, leaving us bitter resentful, angry.

A World War Two veteran Jack O’Brien, dying of cancer with only a short time to live had this to say.
“I went to serve my country and came back minus a leg and several fingers. In fact I almost died.
My fiance left me when she saw how horrible I looked, but that was OK because then I met my wife, the love of my life.
We were married 50 years, and
had four children and five grandchildren.
We lost one of our sons in a car crash. that was a horrible day, I will never forget it. You never expect to lose a child. I remember saying to God how unfair that was. He was hit by a drunk driver. I was angry with God and the world. I stayed that way for a long time until finally my wife asked if a pastor could come speak to me.
I wanted no part of it but eventually she came to speak with me anyway.
When she first came, I refused to see her. She said that was O.K., that she understood I was in a ‘dark time’ and that she would be back. I really didn’t think she would come back, but she did. It took three times before I said I would talk with her.
Once I started talking, all the anger and bitterness flooded out of me. She came back many times, over months.
She said very little for the first three months. I said a lot. I talked about how much I missed my son, how guilty I felt for letting him drive, and then I was surprised because I started talking about how much I resented losing my leg and fingers during the war. I said over and over again how unfair life had been to me.”
One day after asking if she could pray, she did.
“Your son, Jack, is very angry with you. He resents your not protecting his son. He is angry because you did not step in to rescue his son from a drunk driver. He is angry because he offered to serve his country and came back home missing a leg and some fingers. Dear God, would you please listen to how angry Jack is and help him begin to hope again, so that he can come to feel better sometime soon. Amen.’
This simple prayer changed the course of Jacks life.
And if this is where you find yourself today, bitter, angry, hopeless this one step might change your life to.
Pray to God who understands, and let Him know exactly how you feel.
After you pray begin to think about all the ways God has been good to you. Maybe write them down.
We can be so self-absorbed, so preoccupied with how unfair life has been to us that we forget how gracious God is in so many ways.
I wouldn’t be surprised that as you do, that hope and Thanksgiving would begin to rise in your heart.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

23 November 2016

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About messagefromthefield

“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. I believe everyone has a story to tell and more than we know, we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement a time of great unrest and change. The dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that would lead me as Bilbo Bagging in the Hobbit wrote “there and back again” ( ironically the Hobbit was published on September 21st 1937 the same day as my birthday although not the same year). On that October day in 1978 when I was miraculously and wonderfully saved it would naturally follow that I would take that love of music and use it to serve the One who created music. But that is a story for another time. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story ends and the story that goes on forever begins! I love these words that will keep me going through good days and bad, ever headed to that place where the Spirit and the Bride even today says "Come". And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.... and the promise for all who follow Him " I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!
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3 Responses to Hope and Thanksgiving

  1. Penchie says:

    Thank you for writing this. I’ve been angry at God too for so long and though I am trying to be grateful for everything every day, I haven’t brought up my anger to God and talk to Him about it. Perhaps if I do this, I’ll open myself to receive more grace thus I can live more gratefully and positively every day.

    God bless you more!

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