40 Days of Hope-Day 14
Hope and Thanksgiving
There are probably some who will read this that feel little reason to be thankful on this Thanksgiving Day.
Life can be unfair, we experience things that steal our hope, our thankfulness, leaving us bitter resentful, angry.
A World War Two veteran Jack O’Brien, dying of cancer with only a short time to live had this to say.
“I went to serve my country and came back minus a leg and several fingers. In fact I almost died.
My fiance left me when she saw how horrible I looked, but that was OK because then I met my wife, the love of my life.
We were married 50 years, and
had four children and five grandchildren.
We lost one of our sons in a car crash. that was a horrible day, I will never forget it. You never expect to lose a child. I remember saying to God how unfair that was. He was hit by a drunk driver. I was angry with God and the world. I stayed that way for a long time until finally my wife asked if a pastor could come speak to me.
I wanted no part of it but eventually she came to speak with me anyway.
When she first came, I refused to see her. She said that was O.K., that she understood I was in a ‘dark time’ and that she would be back. I really didn’t think she would come back, but she did. It took three times before I said I would talk with her.
Once I started talking, all the anger and bitterness flooded out of me. She came back many times, over months.
She said very little for the first three months. I said a lot. I talked about how much I missed my son, how guilty I felt for letting him drive, and then I was surprised because I started talking about how much I resented losing my leg and fingers during the war. I said over and over again how unfair life had been to me.”
One day after asking if she could pray, she did.
“Your son, Jack, is very angry with you. He resents your not protecting his son. He is angry because you did not step in to rescue his son from a drunk driver. He is angry because he offered to serve his country and came back home missing a leg and some fingers. Dear God, would you please listen to how angry Jack is and help him begin to hope again, so that he can come to feel better sometime soon. Amen.’
This simple prayer changed the course of Jacks life.
And if this is where you find yourself today, bitter, angry, hopeless this one step might change your life to.
Pray to God who understands, and let Him know exactly how you feel.
After you pray begin to think about all the ways God has been good to you. Maybe write them down.
We can be so self-absorbed, so preoccupied with how unfair life has been to us that we forget how gracious God is in so many ways.
I wouldn’t be surprised that as you do, that hope and thanksgiving would begin to rise in your heart.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.
23 November 2016