I don't think that there was ever a better person who personified the act of being thankful than Corrie ten Boom.
Corrie and her family lived in the Netherlands and were active in the Dutch Underground hiding refugees. They opened their home to both Jews and members of the resistance movement being sought by the Gestapo and its Dutch counterpart during World War II.
Many of you will remember her book, "The Hiding Place and subsequent movie in 1975.
Corrie gave her life to helping others. She practiced her faith with great dedication and courage. And most of all, she recognized the hand of God in all the events of her life with a thankful heart.
Being thankful is not always about receiving the best that life has to offer. At times, it is about being grateful for the adversity that we face too. Most of us have never been beaten; starved or deprived of sunlight, liberty or religious freedom. And I hope that we never will find ourselves in that situation.
In my travels over the internet seeking information on Corrie, I came across 40 of her most remembered quotes. I will not post all of them here, but I do want to share a few of them with you.
"If the devil cannot make us bad, he will make us busy."
"Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?"
"The measure of life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation"
"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength."
And in times of great concern and darkness, we must remember who is really in control of this world. Here are a couple more quotes from Corrie:
"Never be afraid to trust and unknown future to a known God."
"There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still." (her sister Betsie's words".
I am pretty sure that there were times that Corrie gave her thanks through gritted teeth. She certainly exemplified the power of prayer; the promise of grace and the example of courage under fire.
As we approach the day set aside for Giving Thanks; please take the time to hug your loved ones a little harder. They would much rather have that phone call or hug instead of the newest electronic toy purchased at a door buster sale.
I have been missing our Dad something fierce these past couple weeks.
Although Christmas was his holiday to enjoy, he loved Thanksgiving too. He would have such a big broad smile on his face as family and friends would come to the door.
I would be more than willing to sacrifice a Black Friday or Cyber Monday just to have one more hour with Dad or Diana, Susan, Brett and countless others who have gone on before. And I am sure that many others feel exactly the same.
Corrie ministered to people until the very end of her life. I don't think that she could ever imagine doing anything different. She was a shining example of the strength that we all can have in we just have faith in something or someone bigger than ourselves.
This Thanksgiving; In honor of my departed loved ones, I am going to practice deliberate acts of kindness by praying a little harder and more diligently than ever before. To speak words of love and take every opportunity to hug my family every chance that I get.
Please have a safe and joyful Thanksgiving everyone!