Being thankful way of life

By Joan Clayton: Religion Columnist

The first act of the Pilgrims upon arriving at our shores was to kneel and thank God for a land where they could worship him freely. I honor them for their faith and gratitude. I am thankful for a special day to be grateful for our many blessings.

I am thankful for the Bible. It is God’s love letter to all of us. It is filled with drama, excitement, victories, hope and promise. It is “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105.) It is our manufacturer’s handbook, our blueprint for life.

The word of God inspires me to write letters of “thanksgiving.”

One of my students brought me a flower the day before Thanksgiving with a love note. That inspired me to write thank you notes to my former college professors. Three of them still lived here and had been retired many years. I wrote a thanksgiving letter to each one, expressing my love and appreciation for having such an influence in my life. Each one wrote back, in shaky handwriting that was hardly legible.

My letter had touched them deeply. One said that in all of her career as a college professor, my letter was the first one she had ever received. “It made her day,” she said.

In less than a year, all three professors made their heavenly flight. I’m so glad I wrote those letters.

I was allowed to read a letter from a son to his parents who couldn’t be with them on Thanksgiving. “Mom and Dad, what you gave me could never be bought with money. It cannot be measured in houses or land or possessions. I know there is a God, because I have seen him in you. I’m thankful Mom and Dad that I will never lose you because love is forever.”

In all life’s trials we can always find something to be thankful for.

I heard about a man who had been robbed. He found so many things to be thankful for in it. He was thankful he was robbed and not someone else. He was thankful he had something to be robbed of. He was thankful he was still alive.

Each night I can look over my day and find many, many blessings. I thank God for my bed and the roof over my head. Others may not have that. I have eyes to see and ears to hear. Others may not have that. I have food to eat and clean water to drink. Many do not have that.

It’s a proven truth that we really don’t appreciate things until they are taken away.

When I think of what God has brought me through, I cannot help but be grateful. He has done “exceedingly abundantly all we could ask for or think of.” He is the same God of the present and the future. His faithfulness remains steadfast in the storm. In him, your anchor is secure. Contentment and thanksgiving brings peace.

T — thoughts of love toward him
H — happy to be rid of sin
A — always joyful for we win
N — no befalling, without or within
K — keeping in prayer, even our kin
S — salvation for all who will “come in”

May we be thankful today and every day.