Philippians 4:6  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (NIV)

            Sometimes people get nervous about Thanksgiving, especially those who are doing the hosting and cooking. I’ve never cooked a big meal for anyone, but I’ve watched my wife Evelyn prepare everything in advance – making the grocery list, setting the table, buying the groceries, preparing the food, cooking the meal, and beautifully presenting it to the whole family. I enjoy her cooking and marvel at how well she plans it in advance. I know she gets anxious about making everything perfect, but in the end, it’s always a wonderful meal and a great dinner.

            Other folks get anxious about traveling and hope that there are no major delays on the roads or at the airport. They want to be with their folks on time and enjoy the entire holiday. They hope that everyone will be pleasant and the conversations humorous. It will a special time to remember those who are absent, recalling past events and sharing stories that are cherished and embellished each year.

            Some people will be on their own throughout Thanksgiving, due to their own choices or because of circumstances. Whatever the reason, they may feel lonely or forgotten, isolated or unloved. In such cases, a kind call, a special card, or a reassuring word will go a long way in helping them to connect with folks around them.

            Lastly, there will be those from our nation who are on active duty in other parts of the world, facing intense situations and encountering hostile forces as they seek to defend liberty and preserve hope in other places. Their thanksgiving at the end of the day may be one of thanking God for having survived a conflict. In the midst of all of our celebrations, we should all take time to remember our military and express a prayer of thanksgiving for all that they do on our behalf and for the cause of freedom throughout the world.

            Whatever your circumstances, concerns, or cares, receive God’s blessing through today’s Bible verse from Paul. To me, it is a promised source of reassurance which helps me in troubled times and enables me to give thanks to God each day, each season, and each year of my life. I hope and pray that it will become the same for you. May God bless you and all of your loved ones this Thanksgiving.

Point to ponder:  What am I truly thankful for?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You for Your presence in our lives which strengthens and sustains us each day. You know our present circumstances and current concerns. Help us to place them into Your hands, so that we may feel supported and reassured by Your grace and love. In Your Holy Name, we thankfully pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s Thanksgiving drawings called ‘Cornucopia.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.  If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to