Thanksgiving a time to celebrate God’s blessings

By Joan Clayton: PNT religion columnist

Let us be a truly thankful people because of God’s many blessings. “Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done” (TLB).

Recognize the touch of the Master’s hand. I believe both great and small miracles happen every day and we let them go by unnoticed without ever expressing our gratitude. Knowing that I am God’s child and that He will never leave me makes my heart overflow with thanksgiving.

Did you ever have a day when everything that could go wrong went wrong? I have had many. However, I have discovered if I will change my attitude I can find great blessings in what appears to me a nuisance. If I look through the eyes of faith, I can always find a blessing in disguise.

I read somewhere that God will not be looking for medals but only scars. When we think of how much we love our children and that we would do anything in our power — move heaven and earth to help them — only then can we realize just a tiny bit of the love God had for us by sacrificing his Son. God took a chance by giving us a free will. Those nail-scarred hands and nail-scarred feet are evidence of His great love. Whenever I see a cross, I think of Jesus’ unfailing love for me and I am thankful.

Before you close your eyes at night, replay your day. You will find a wonderful surprise blessing every time. It doesn’t have to be monumental, although it can be. It can be as simple as an “I love you, Mom” phone call. It can be a lovely sunset or a beautiful sunrise. Each day God showers us with surprise blessings. My 31 years in the public schools contained many surprise daily blessings. Love notes, colored pictures and little chubby hands filled with crumpled up dandelions made my days of school so happy. They were all expressions of love from the heart of a child, and I thanked God for little children.

Look for your surprise daily blessing and tell God, “Thank you.” Celebrate it. Savor it and be thankful.

Seize great blessings in little things. Happy people are grateful people. Find the good in everyone. Learn to forgive. Resentment and anger robs one of physical health and internal peace. Have a smile in your heart and on your face. That is a great blessing in a little thing but unfolds into great things and makes you thankful and happy.

Enthusiasm expresses your gratitude. I love to be around enthusiastic people. People who get excited about God and his many blessings bless me. It is contagious. Thankfulness promotes excitement and joyful living. Being enthusiastic about life makes every day a wonderful adventure.

I have learned to be aware and observant of blessings. I saw a lady in a restaurant sit down with her food. She closed her eyes in prayer for several seconds. That blessed me so much that I told her so.

I also saw a little child say “grace” with her mother and baby. What a beautiful sight. I know they were grateful and expressed it.

Every day is a thankful day; I call it “Thanksgiving is Thanks living.” Make this Thanksgiving Day an extra special one. You are alive! Thank God for his beauty of the earth and all the provisions he supplies. Thank him for America and those who fight for our freedom. Thank him for families. Thank him that you are “fearfully and wonderfully” made. Thank Him for His great love.

As my grandmother used to say, “Count your blessings and you will run out of paper.”

Celebrate God’s blessings and be thankful.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I am thankful for you!

Joan Clayton is a retired teacher, writer and religion columnist living in Portales. E-mail her at joan@yucca.net