Thanksgiving and Peace
It is November 18, 2022. Beverly and I are sitting in the den, exhausted. It was a rough week. We have been making extensive repairs to our house. Checking on contractors and subcontractors. Making sure the work goes as planned.
There was all the work with Ciloa. Reviewing responses. Trying to find time to reply. And, of course, working on the next Note. Not hearing God tell me what to write next. What people desperate for encouragement need to hear.
And then there was that day when Mother suddenly said, “I can’t see out of my left eye.” Her vision returned in a few minutes. Beverly contacted her cardiologist who recommended taking her to the hospital’s Emergency Room.
Thank God for the encouragement He sends.
I had no idea how many things can cause a loss of sight. But I found out. After two CT Scans, an MRI and other tests, a doctor said that “all the bad scary things were ruled out.” But still no agreement on the cause. Then came a ray of sunshine.
Cynthia was the patient attendant who helped my Mother, supported the nurse and other staff, reviewed vital signs, and kept records. And she talked…a lot. Always cheery, helpful, and encouraging. She was like a friend we had not seen in a while.
And she is a Christian. Beverly and I had lunch with her one day and I told her about Ciloa. She was amazed there was such a ministry. I thanked her for being a great encourager for us in all the confusion and concern surrounding my Mother. That meant a lot to her.
A life filled with thanksgiving is one of peace.
It never ceases to amaze me how God encourages us in difficult times. Every day we asked Him to allow Mother to go back home, but I couldn’t hear His answer over the noise of my praying. Turns out He was whispering, “Not yet.”
Because of that “Not yet”, there was time to be certain there were no bad scary things to worry about. Time to learn of other medical issues and meet with doctors who had a treatment plan ready. And time to meet and share with Cynthia who encouraged us, even as we encouraged her.
A Psalmist wrote, Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Thank Him and bless His name.1 Thanksgiving surrounds our relationship with God. It reminds us that even in difficult times He is always with us and in Him we have peace.
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to encouraging others and teaching them how to encourage one another. He is also an author and speaker. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Footnotes: This is my paraphrase. Read Psalm 100:4.
Pictures: Banner: Praise The Lord With Thanksgiving, from a video by The Skit Guys, skitguys.com. (1) A Busy Man by vectorfusianart, Shutterstock. (2) Thank You, Unsplash.com. (3) Psalm 100:4, Jesus4Evers.com.