by Lt.Colonel Richard Amick, Secretary for Business Administration
Forty-four years ago as a cadet, I experienced my first Thanksgiving away from home, including my mom’s dinner with all the trimmings. What did the Lord have in store? A Thanksgiving dinner with the Doliber family. While the food wasn’t the same as what my mom would make, the fellowship and camaraderie were equal. It was a happy place, a joyful occasion that has stood the test of time.
This is the last Thanksgiving my wife, Vicki, and I will celebrate before we retire. It doesn’t seem possible. Where has the time gone? I remember having a jacket as a young officer that said, “It’s great to be an officer.” This still rings true, and I would do it all over again. I love being an officer and serving our Lord.
More than any other, this year forces us to dig deeper. With COVID-19, civil unrest, e-learning for our children and the economy, Marvin Gaye’s song, “What’s Going On?” seems to reflect today even though it was written a generation ago.
Do you find yourself staring at the words Thanksgiving Day on the calendar and wondering what there is to be thankful for? Difficulties don’t pause for a Thanksgiving break. There is a way, however, to find reasons to be thankful even during the darkest episodes of our lives. When struggles seem to block out joy, we can choose to be thankful.
Let’s look at God’s Word. Count the number of times the word “thanks” appears just in Psalms 100, 103 through 107. It’s throughout the Bible. We can give thanks for God’s unfailing goodness (Ps. 106:1), God’s holy name (Ps. 30:4), deliverance from sin (Rom. 7:24-25), God’s nearness (Heb. 13:5) and victory over death (1 Cor. 15:56-57). Yes, we can still find reasons to thank God—even if it’s just that our difficulties will one day be replaced by the joys of heaven.
I close with an excerpt from the choral benediction by Bandmaster William Himes, O.F.:
May you feel God’s love within you even as we part this hour.
May His presence guide your living,
May you sense His strength and pow’r.
If storms of life should buffet you, or stress and fear increase
May God’s arms of comfort hold you and surround you with His peace.
I recognize more than ever that God is so good. I choose to be thankful, do you? Happy Thanksgiving!