By Nancy B. Gibbs
“Are you going grocery shopping today?” my husband, Roy asked when I picked up the telephone. “I plan to,” I answered.
Thanksgiving was only a couple days away. Everyone in our family would be coming to our house. My funds were limited, therefore my box of coupons awaited me in the car. I knew I had to be creative in my shopping that day. I had to stretch every dollar.
For a few seconds, Roy sat silently on the other end of the line. “Why do you ask?” I uttered, fearing what he might say. “Nancy, there’s a family with a half dozen kids that will not have anything to eat for Thanksgiving. The little one is only five-years-old.”
“So what are you saying?” I whispered. “While you’re at the store could you possibly buy something for them?” Roy’s words echoed in my heart. Groceries, a five-year-old, eight in the family. My head began to spin thinking about the fifty dollars I had reserved for our family’s Thanksgiving dinner.
In the back of my mind I counted the hungry guests who would be coming to our house for dinner. I put my head down on my desk, already feeling defeated. There’s no way possible, I thought. But the compassion I heard in my husband’s voice struck a nerve inside me.
“Sure,” I replied. “But only if God helps.” “Thanks, sweetheart,” Roy whispered. “Just do what you can.” He then hung up the telephone. I finished my work and prayed all the way to the nearest grocery store. I entered the parking lot. I noticed a big sign in the grocery store window: Turkeys – 29 cents a pound.
“This is the place, Lord” I whispered. I grabbed my box of coupons, went inside, secured two buggies, and headed to the frozen foods. The turkeys were indeed on sale, but I discovered one big problem. When I read the sign posted on the freezer door my heart sank. “Limit one.” “But I need two,” I uttered to myself. I decided to find the manager. I explained the problem. He made an exception.
After tossing a turkey in each buggy, I began my shopping fury. It was amazing how many buy-one, get-one free items were being featured that day. The first item went into one buggy. The free item went in the other. In addition, I had all the right coupons to get exactly what both families needed for a hearty Thanksgiving dinner. I proceeded to the register and held my breath while the cashier rang up my groceries.
To my surprise, I had enough money. I was even able to purchase a package of cookies for the five-year-old who had stolen my heart, even though I had never met her.
Later that afternoon, Roy and I made a special delivery to a home filled with children of all ages. I will never forget the smiles on the six kids’ faces, as they made several trips from my car carrying numerous bags of groceries inside.
This event reminded me of a story. Even though He only had a few loaves and fishes, Jesus multiplied them and fed five thousand people. And to top it off, there was food left over. I wondered if God was doing the same thing that day.
By far, that was the greatest Thanksgiving Day of my life. My entire family shared a hearty meal with us. We had plenty to eat. We even had enough food left over for the evening meal.
That afternoon, when I had time to think about what had happened, I imagined a home, not far from where I lived. There was a mother and a father and six children sitting around the kitchen table, laughing and rejoicing. They enjoyed the same meal that our family had shared together that day.
Then I realized that miracles happen when we step out in faith and in steps God. For with us, some things are impossible. But with God, all things are possible.
Are you feeling thankful this year? Will you recognize the one who makes the impossible, possible? A simple prayer of thanks at each family meal of the year will gradually restore thankfulness to us. As our children see us humble ourselves to thank our Creator, they too learn to be grateful. Robert Lintner said it well: “Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.”
This habit of family thankfulness can begin round our tables this Thanksgiving. If you think you have nothing to be thankful for, perhaps it’s time to recognize that Christ died for your sins, so that you might have eternal life.
The Bible says that God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die for our sins, that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) Now you must admit, there’s no better reason to be thankful. It also says that if you confess with your mouth, that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) Pray something like this:
Jesus, please forgive me for my sin. I’ve made so many mistakes. I know that you died for me and that you have a plan for my life. Please teach me your ways and help me to live my life for you, to be thankful each and every day for the rest of my life. I want to start a new life with you leading the way. Amen
Congratulations, if you have prayed this prayer the Bible says, “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Cr 5:17)
If you’ve prayed this prayer for the first time or are renewing your commitment to the Lord, please let us know so that we can pray for you as you start your new life in Christ.