It’s been a quieter Thanksgiving. We were in Florida for a family wedding two weekends ago, and my sister and her kids came back through for an eight-day visit. We enjoyed being with them; it’s far too infrequent. They left on Tuesday, and after a busy last couple of weeks, we had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving with my mom. We went to church last night for the annual Thanksgiving Eve service, and that’s always a favorite service during the year to be encouraged by testimony of God’s faithfulness in many lives.
There are so many things to be thankful for on this day and every day. We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
A week ago today my son and I were involved in a car wreck. While waiting at a red light, on a dark and rainy evening, two cars had a wreck in the intersection, each trying to beat a yellow light, one turning, and once they collided, the wreck came flying into our sitting car. I had my son and his friend in the car, coming home from his driver’s ed class, of all places! I have no doubt we were intended to be right in that place, right at that time, for that very moment.
I had just been praising the Lord that morning for such a fun time in Florida with my extended family and for the many good gifts from his hand. And I was wondering would I respond with praise when things aren’t as good. Would I love Him and recognize His goodness to me in all things. I’ve been reading through the gospels in my daily Bible readings and seeing how Jesus told his disciples to watch and pray that they might not fall into temptation. They needed to be prepared.
Before the wreck, unrelated to it, as we had headed to the intersection where we were waiting at the red light, a car had come speeding by us on the left, illegally, and raced past to turn in front of us. His cutting me off made me miss the previous light. As I sat at that intersection, the first car in line, waiting for the next green light, I wondered about how that car was on down the road in my place, and I was sitting in his place. I thought, wouldn’t that be weird if I find him down the road in a wreck and he ended up taking my wreck. But moments later, I was in a wreck, in his place.
Of course, I was right where God intended. And would I praise Him even in this? I do praise and thank the Lord for that. Could it be, in God’s good design, my son, who just took to the road today to drive for the first time, is now more sobered by the responsibility of driving, aware that we really aren’t in control, recognizing firsthand that cars can be really dangerous? This will definitely cause him to always wear his seat belt, if he ever wanted to be lazy about it!
But whether I can find good in it or not, I know it was for good purposes, and I know that God is good.
And I thank Him this Thanksgiving, among other things, for His protection over us. And I thank Him for our family and friends. Perhaps not being with many of them today reminds me all the more of what a gift they are. I thank Him for the many good gifts from His hand (James 1:17), and most of all, for His salvation. I thank Jesus for taking my sin, bearing my shame, suffering for me, taking my place, the punishment for sin that I deserved, and giving His life for me, so that I could live, and know Him, my Creator and Lord and King. He is good, and I praise and thank Him.