Let Thanksgiving reign in your heart

Joan Clayton: Religion columnist

We have lived in the same house on the same corner for 42 years. The house is too small when our sons come home with their families. The den seems even smaller when the tall handsome men of my household lie down to relax after the big meal. They are hanging off the couch, sprawling on the floor and sleeping through a ball game. It is home and I am thankful.

Our yard is too big, but I find it a solace, a comfort to me. The birds stop for a while on their migratory journey and I am reminded that God does not even forget the sparrows. (Luke 12:6).

I love the way the snow adorns the pine trees in the beauty of winter and I love the fragrance of spring rain. My heart overflows with praise and gratitude.

Our house is a house of memories, triumphs, victories, hard places, laughter, tears and love. The Lord has been faithful and I bow my knees with thankfulness.

Many family members who celebrated all the birthdays and holidays with us are now celebrating a new life with Jesus. Their love lives on in the “house” of our hearts and I remember to “number my days, that I might apply my heart unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12).

They say houses have personality. I want mine to reflect the one who lives in my heart. When it is all said and done and the final hour has come, Jesus is the only thing that really matters. Hope in him makes everyday a “Thanksgiving Day.” Reaching our heavenly home is the ultimate destination.
“Thanksgiving” is just that … a day of giving thanks … a special day to give heartfelt thanks to a God who loves his children and has provided every blessing.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17 NIV).

Be thankful for the bountiful beauty of the harvest, for friends, for family and most of all for God’s love. (John 3:16)
God is a song in the night, a guiding light that guides us through every conflict. He tenderly watches over you and I.

He loves us with an everlasting love and we are special in his sight. His is our Shepherd and we do not follow another. In weakness he becomes our strength. We stand strong in him and in the power of his might. “We are like a tree planted by the streams of water. Our leaves shall never fade or wither and everything we do and everything we say shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3). “He is our High Tower and we run to it and are safe!” (Proverbs 18:10) He fills our lives with beautiful things and we are pursued and overtaken with blessings from his bountiful hand.

How can we not be thankful?

I pray your house is filled with his presence, for where he is love abounds.

I also pray “out of his glorious unlimited resource he will give you the mighty inner strengthening of his Holy Spirit.

And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you, as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love; and you may be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last, you will be filled up with God himself.” Ephesians 3:16-19 TLB).
We are a grateful people.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear reader!