Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I enjoy the time with family and friends. I love some of the holiday traditions. And, of course, I love the food. It's wonderful to be able to spend some time set aside for the purpose of giving thanks for God's many blessings.
But at the same time I am aware that the holidays, Thanksgiving included, are not such joyous times for everyone. The holidays can be particularly difficult for people who have recently lost a loved one. For someone who has been out of work and is in financial crisis the prospect of giving thanks can be quite challenging. For people struggling with addiction the holidays can serve as a time of crisis because of the challenges presented at social and family functions. I would bet that just about everyone can think of someone for whom the holidays might be depressing or challenging.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, try to be mindful of folks who might have a hard time giving thanks. If you know someone who is not able to afford a nice, big turkey dinner or even a meager dinner, go the extra mile to express your gratitude by sharing with them. Perhaps you can invite them over for dinner. Or perhaps you can deliver some groceries to their house. If you know someone who has recently lost a loved one remember to pray for them. They need the kind of comfort God is best at giving. And don't hesitate to pick up the phone or send a card. A word of encouragement never hurts. Perhaps someone you know is struggling with sobriety. Consider spending some time with them. If your own celebrations are drug and alcohol free, invite them over. They might need to experience spending some fun time with people in an environment that does not promote temptation.
As we venture on into the holiday season together, and prepare for our celebration of Christmas, keep these folks in mind. Remember that blessings are best when they are shared.