Traditionally, our fourth-quarter issue has had a holiday theme. Again this year, you will find articles written for your inspiration and meditation on thankfulness and the celebration of the first coming of Jesus.
Speaking of thankfulness, my last few days have been filled with anything but circumstances that lend themselves to thankfulness.
With the new airline carry-on regulations, I had to check my camera and a bottle of liquid on my way home. How the liquid made it through two Ziplock bags is a mystery, but the digital camera was soaked and ruined. Good news—the disks had been removed, and my pictures were saved.
I arrived home to find my laptop very sluggish. After two days of running at turtle pace in the presence of those who nurtured it most, it sputtered its last and the hard drive died. Good news—in June, Shelly had backed up weeks of extensive revisions on my sermons and seminars. The slow death of my computer was a major loss of time but a minor loss of data.
Jim left town for an itinerary, and the brakes went out on the car. Good news—no one was hurt in an accident.
There were more minor incidents—thorns in the flesh that scratched and itched. But all of this brought me back to Paul’s admonition: “Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
So why am I thankful? Because I belong to Jesus Christ. How in the world could any of us endure what Satan throws at us if we didn’t belong to Jesus? Therefore, I will be joyful (my sister says this is hereditary!). I will keep praying (sometimes just for relief!), and no matter what happens (and it will), I will try to be thankful. Why? Because I belong to Jesus. He came the first time to buy me back, so now I am His.
The Thanksgiving season and the Christmas holiday will bring their own unique stresses and messes. But through it all, remember that, praise the Lord, we all belong to Him.