Reece Gardner: Remaining thankful through difficult times
Here we are on the eve of another Thanksgiving Day, and we all surely have so much to be thankful for — family, friends, good times and living in the greatest country on the face of the earth!
I want to write today about the importance of appreciating others, especially those closest to us. My Emma and I will not be traveling to our children's homes this Thanksgiving. Instead, we will be looking forward to them coming here.
As I had mentioned in a previous column, Emma is having some health problems now and we feel it best to stay close to home. And speaking of being close to home, I want to take this opportunity to offer praise and thanksgiving to our doctors and hospital personnel here at home for going beyond the call of duty, with compassion, care and concern for everyone. We will always be grateful.
Do you ever wonder why disappointments sometimes come our way? Renowned minister and author Daniel Hans relates how he once surveyed his congregation, asking them about their disappointments.
In response, people described times they had prayed for the life of a child only to see him die (Emma and I can relate to this); of the hope that God would protect his people from violence, only to hear of an elderly woman being stabbed on her way to church; of the sadness of little children being abused, and so on.
Hans suggests that disappointments like these are the stuff of life, and that if we read scriptures we discover that alongside the wonderful stories of miracles and amazing blessings by God, we also hear stories of sadness and disappointment.
So when we are disappointed it might help us to remember we are never really alone, and that walking with us through life is "somebody bigger than you and I."
And now I want to close by directing these words to My Emma from "Beyond The Sunset":
"Should you go first and I remain to walk the road alone, I'll live in Memory's Garden with happy days we've known. In Spring I'll wait for roses red, when fades the lilac's bloom, and in early Fall when golden leaves fall, I'll catch a glimpse of you. Should you go first and I remain for battles to be fought, each thing you've touched along the way will be a hallowed spot. I'll hear your voice, I'll see your smile, though blindly I may grope, the memory of your helping hand will fill my heart with hope. Beyond the sunset, oh blissful morning, when with our Savior, Heaven is begun, Earth's toiling ended, with Glory dawning, beyond the sunset, when day is done."