Thanksgiving Dinner

October 9, 2006
by Elaine Ingalls Hogg

Psalm 72:18-19 – Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvellous deeds. Praise be to His glorious name for ever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen. (NIV)

Isn't it just like God to have a plan beyond what we can ever dream is possible? Last Thanksgiving, when most people were with their families, my husband and I decided to go out to lunch after church. Unbeknownst to us, another couple, "Beth" and "Harry", whose families live far away, were sitting at a table by themselves, and they invited us to sit with them. We chatted as people do when they are getting acquainted: the weather, where we were from, and our families. During our visit, Beth said, "We were late for church this morning. We had an e-mail from our daughter."

"I hope it was good news," I said, but immediately I wished I hadn't said anything, as I saw her wipe a tear from the corner of her eye.

"Oh, yes, very good news!" And this time, she wasn't able to hold back her tears. "You see, every day we have prayed for our daughter, and today she wrote a letter." I nodded in agreement as I thought of my own daughters and how I look forward to hearing from them. I knew firsthand how a busy lifestyle contributes to infrequent correspondence at times. When Beth regained her composure, she said, "Our daughter wrote to ask our forgiveness." In the note she told how her parents' love and steadfastness had helped her see and understand God. She wanted them to know she had asked God for forgiveness also.

Excitement welled up in my heart as I thought of the women I had spoken to the previous week at two different Christian Women's Clubs. Six of those ladies had indicated they had prayed, asking for forgiveness and inviting God into their lives. They would have been able to write their families that weekend and to tell them their prayers had been answered. And at some Thanksgiving table, perhaps many miles away, a parent, a sister, a friend would have been rejoicing with tears and happy smiles, just as my new friends, Beth and Harry, did at lunchtime that day. But it was what Beth shared next that left me with a sense of awe and wonder. The daughter who wrote to her parents lived five hundred kilometres away, in the same area as I'd been speaking earlier in the week. She may not have been one of the six who indicated their decision to follow Christ, but in my mind, her story was God's way of representing the rejoicing I knew would have been in six other homes that Thanksgiving weekend.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 – All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. (NIV)

We all have loved ones for whom we are praying, and God wants us to know He hears our prayers and has a plan to draw them to Himself.

Prayer: Dear God, thank You for hearing our prayers. Help us to be faithful in praying for our family members and others who need You in their lives. Amen.

About the author:

Elaine Ingalls Hogg <authorhogg@yahoo.ca>
Smiths Creek, New Brunswick, Canada

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