Thankfulness

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

So today is the day after Thanksgiving. I have had some time to pray and reflect on some things this year. The long weekend started off pretty slow and in all honesty, I wasn’t looking forward to it. But our Lord has His ways of doing things that we never expect. Allow me to elaborate.

This year has been a tough year, not only for me personally, but also for the ministry. On a personal note, my wife of 36 years died suddenly on December 23, 2012. It has been nearly three years now, I have found it actually harder to adjust this year than I have the past nearly three years. Pray as I would, I still found it a struggle. I have also been fighting osteoarthritis in both knees and struggling with the pain of that. On top, have had my job change in the ministry twice in a year and the ministry has been undergoing some struggles and what I believe is just spiritual attack. The job changes haven’t been bad and I have always tried to do whatever was needed to help out, but my state of mind with other struggles, made these changes harder to take than they should have been.

We have been hearing and talking a lot about being Thankful to God at the ministry this year. And just from reading scripture, I am convinced that a heart of thankfulness is essential for our growth in our Lord. But coming into this Thanksgiving, I found myself not being very thankful for my circumstances. It is so easy to allow circumstances to rule our hearts. But God, in his grace and mercy brought a couple of simple things into my life the last couple of days that made me confess of my attitude.

The first happened Thanksgiving morning. I have this tradition that I do my usual grocery shopping on Thanksgiving morning rather than on my usual Saturday. I go to great lengths to avoid the normal after Thanksgiving shopping spree that occurs in this country. So as normal, I got up and heading in to our local Walmart. as I was getting into the check out line I noticed this little old man, probably in his 80’s ahead of me but not moving up to the counter. I watched him for a minute and then he turned around and saw me. He signaled me to move ahead of him and started moving his cart out of the way. I noticed he had a Vietnam Vet baseball cap on. I asked him if he was a Vietnam vet (OK, pretty dumb question given his hat). He said yes and that he was a 29 year veteran of the military. I told him I was in the service during the Vietnam War but only served four years. We smiled as he walked by me and I told him, “God Bless you.” He smiled and said “thank you.” Not really a big moment, but it warmed my heart on this Thanksgiving day share this moment with a person that would generally be ignored in our country.

Then in the afternoon, I was invited over to one of our leaders’ house. I gotta tell you that I really love David and Debi. They are two of the most godly and strongest followers of Christ that I know. David was the first person I called when my wife passed away and he and Debi came over and sat with me for about three hours while the police did their thing. I really didn’t want to go over yesterday because I know how busy they both are and I didn’t want to interfere with the little time they had to spend with their family. But I had accepted their so I went. Nothing really significant happened while I was there, but it was just a wonderful time to relax with their family. I was so thankful that they had invited me.

About 6PM I received a message on my cell phone telling me that a group of students were going to start watching White Christmas and they wanted me to come. It’s hard to believe that some of the students had never seen that movie. It was fun watching them get into it, even though the movie is over 60 years old. I was thinking that some of them are going to graduate in December and will be leaving us. While that always makes me sad to see them go, I really enjoy having them here for their year of schooling. These young people are a joy to my heart and I am so thankful to God that He brings us students to spend a year with us.

So, that’s about it. While none of what has happened could be considered earth shattering, it was so evident that God orchestrated all this; I spent time today thanking Him  for His grace. It’s funny, sometimes we just look for big things from God. But oftentimes, it’s the small things He does that are really the best. We just have to have our eyes and hearts open to see Him in the small things. So, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the small things that God does.

I pray you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!!

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