From a worker in the Middle East
I love Thanksgiving Day. It serves as a little reminder for me to stop and think about all of God’s blessings in my life. I have to admit I also love the meal. Here we cook chicken instead of turkey. Chicken tastes good, but I imagine it to be actual morsels of juicy, delicious turkey. I take time with my wife and children to count our blessings. As we remember those thankful moments we are struck by empty seats and lack of rustle and bustle. We miss our moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. We miss our Thanksgiving service and luncheon with juicy turkey. We miss the fellowship and our loving family. It is then we are reminded that the life of a servant is a lonely road. Truly, it is a road less traveled. Before the first step of the journey the adventurous, all-for-Jesus daring heart imagines the life of the ancient heroes of the hall of faith. But after a few steps one realizes why this road is less traveled. And although you don’t want to admit it, at least to your friends back home, you sometimes miss the other road.
As I am lost in the woods, far beyond the initial forks, anxious thoughts of whether I am on the right track weigh me down. When these dark apprehensions overwhelm me, I refocus my thoughts on when, where and why I embarked on this trip in the first place. Thoughts of my Lord on the Via Dolorosa come to my anxious mind. All alone and despised without the sympathy of any mortal soul He paved the way with His precious blood. Only the faithful can see the red-stained road and feel the heart beat of the first traveler who led the way for His disciples to follow. “If anyone would come after me, he must first deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matt. 16:24
Yes, the road is lonely. But when we areled by the Holy Spirit, follow Jesus and our feet are interposed on the grooves of His footprints, we know that we are on the right road. We feel His joy as well as His pains. It is then that we are being made into His likeness. Thanksgiving is very much who Jesus is. Because of Him we can celebrate Thanksgiving every day in our hearts.