With elections just completed and Thanksgiving creeping up on us, we are in the midst of the screamers on the radio and television talk shows warning us of the “crooks” running for office, or the “blindness and the incompetence” of our elected representatives, and of the failings of our leaders in virtually all fields. However, I want to tell you that we Christians have a deep well of strength, hope, and confidence from which to draw a toast to the future this Thanksgiving in the country in which we live that has more freedom and opportunity than any place the world has ever seen.
By the time I was 28, I had buried all the family I grew up with and I’d broken my neck in a car wreck—which ended my hope to be a basketball star. These events made me realize I am not the center of the universe. I also realized through these losses, some other failures in my life and the resulting fears were more than I could handle by myself.
But it was due to the chaos, pain and doubt of those days and nights that I was driven to the end of myself and wound up parked on a lowly roadside in East Texas. There I made my first attempt to surrender my future, my family’s future, and the future of the world I lived in to the God Jesus called Father.
I drove that stake into that East Texas soil as deeply as I could at the time. I was a helpless little 28 year old boy inside. And that day I turned from surveying the inner turmoil in my life, looked in a different direction—and saw a rim of light on the horizon. It was the beginning of a sunrise I had not known would ever come. I had been facing and living every day a “sunset” of all my hopes for my life. And when I turned my focus around, I realized that God is alive beyond mountains and oceans of my fear if I can but turn around right where I am each time the mountains or oceans threaten to overwhelm me.
Whatever happens outside us, God will be with us and give us the courage and strength to deal with our losses, failures, fears, and difficulties, one day, one hour at a time, as individuals and as a nation.
God has changed my life so much that I am spending my life pointing over my shoulder to tell you there is real solid hope to stand on. Right now—where ever you are!
So for the next few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I am focusing on all that I have for which to be thankful, including renewed hope that comes from the realization that God knows where each of us is and will never give up on us.
God bless you and Happy Thanksgiving (and the weeks of preparation that are leading up to it).
“Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.” (1 Cor. 1:7, The Message)