Thanksgiving? The Wait is Over, Creation Declares the Glory of God
I’m not much of a hunter. When we moved to Mississippi 30 years ago next summer, I spent some time on deer stands, waiting for a deer. In two years of hunting, I saw deer twice. The first time I was returning from hunting all day only to find an 8 pointer standing literally a few feet in front of my brand new two-tone Town Landau 1981 Thunderbird. In a moment of sanity the thought of nailing that windshield kept me from pulling the trigger, and the buck jumped safely into the adjacent woods.
A second time after I had been waiting in a deer stand since before dawn, in frozen awe of the peaceful woods off the Maben-Sturgis Road, a nice 4 or 6 pointer softly walked perhaps 8 feet from me. Unfortunately, he was under, behind, and to the left of me when I actually spotted him After all that waiting, and the deer was so close, yet still beyond my grasp.
We spend an awful lot of time waiting, anticipating, and stressing. We wonder when the deer will show up, when we will get the job we want, when we will finally get that dream car, furniture, home, vacation, or retirement. Intuitively we would think that money would bring happiness, and that success means making more money to be even happier. Yet some evidence suggests that is not the case, and that even the poor may be happier than the rich.
Scripture teaches us that we can see God in all creation, and that we should praise God and be thankful despite our situation. Yet how can we be thankful during tragedy and crisis, when suffering is around us, when there is seemingly no one to share our burdens? Abraham Lincoln first proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving during the bloodiest war in the history of our nation, despite frustration, hopelessness, and endless waiting by millions on both sides of the conflict. Perhaps by carrying the burdens of that great loss he understood more than any of us ever will, that it is during our season of greatest loss and despair that we must be positive, hopeful, and offer thanks. “Waiting” to be thankful until times were better was not an option for Lincoln.
“Waiting” should not be an option for us either. Hopefully you too have found God’s glory in all creation, and already feel blessed as we approach the holidays. However, if you do not feel blessed and thankful by your circumstances, our prayer is that you too will find the peace that surpasses all understanding, spoken of in scripture.
Dr. Robert Leach & Staff