Thanking God should be part of holiday

We use thank you in many ways. We teach our children to say thank you. I recently received a credit card offer that gave thank you points for every purchase made with the card. Then there was a promotional from a business offering a half price sale to say thank you to all their faithful customers. Sometimes I see postings in the paper where people write public thanks you. Then again, I see business owners expressing thank you to the public for fifty successful years in business.

I found some interesting information this week. Thank you in Finnish is kiitti. Lithuanians say achiu for thank you and the word for thank you for the Massai in Kenya and Tanzania is ashi. How does one say thank you in Swahili? Asante.

This Thanksgiving I want to say an English “thank you” to God for several lessons learned and God’s love revealed.

When Susie, my sister, was just a little girl, tests revealed that she had heart damage from rheumatic fever. I remember my parents received the news that year a few days before Thanksgiving. The night before Thanksgiving, I went into the den to tell my parents something before I went to bed. There they were … on their knees praying for Susie. Today she is a wife, mother and grandmother and has no heart damage. So for me Thanksgiving reminds me that I can take my health concerns to the Lord.

I can still remember my elementary school years and the social studies books I had each year. In each grade in each book, I saw Pilgrims, sitting at table with the Indians. The Pilgrims were praying and the text of each book outlined how the Pilgrims gathered to thank God for the crops and their safety. Today we live in the most wonderful free world, scores of years since the Pilgrims held that first feast. Their prayers did count for something. So for me Thanksgiving means that I am grateful to God to live in a free county, and I can pray and worship as I choose.

On a visit to the old Central Baptist Church building at 8th and Hinkle recently, I went into the room which is now the library at the Christian school. Years ago when Central Baptist Church met there, it was the gathering place each week for Wednesday night prayer meeting. I remember that every year the week of Thanksgiving on the Wednesday night before, we had a Thanksgiving service. During that service, people were encouraged to speak up and tell what they were thankful for that year. And it was a moving time. People who had lost loved ones during that year, or people who had blessings of health or people who had blessings in other areas, would stand and share their heart with all those there and recount the experiences of the past year in their lives. So to me Thanksgiving means sharing and communicating our blessings and the goodness of God to one another.

I remember another year thirty years ago. It was Thanksgiving week and Daddy died unexpectedly the day after Thanksgiving. It was prayer and the prayers of others that got us through that difficult time. So to me, Thanksgiving offers an abundant measure of peace because I am reminded that my real strength and peace through difficult times comes from God.

This Thanksgiving, I thank God for sustenance, strength, support, and foremost for a Savior, Jesus Christ! I say with the Psalmist: “The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” (Psalm 28:6-8)

Thanks be to God!

Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: