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(Repost with minor revisions)

2 Samuel 22, 21:15-17a

I read about a battle between Israel and the Philistines.  David was exhausted and a Philistine named, Ishbi-Benob,  wanted to kill him.  Then Abishai came forward and killed the Philistine.  I believe God used Abishai to rescue David.  David was a thankful man and sang in celebration after God helped him many times.

Eight years ago today, God rescued me.  I was driving on Bever Avenue, a busy street, when someone ran a stop sign and headed for the left front of the car.  I was forced to swerve immediately to the right onto a side street, and unfortunately, there was a little car that suddenly appeared at a stop sign there, right in my path.  I braced for the impact as my tires screeched, but instead, the front of our car just seemed to float.  I opened my eyes and saw the little car I had tried to avoid still at the stop sign, with no damage.  I was pointed in the right direction.  Shaken, I drove very slowly and found a place to park.  I checked out the car.  There wasn’t any damage, and I wasn’t injured!

Believe what you like, but I believe God sent an angel to pick up our car.  Thanks be to God, my rescuer!  God helps me in many ways, but the heavenly help on Bever Avenue that afternoon stands out.  Every year now, when I put up a new calendar, I write on the month of May, “Heavenly help on Bever Ave,” so I can remember what God did for me.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:18

I’ve been reading The Underground Railroad by Charles L. Blockson.  Some slaves endured long hours (6 a.m. – midnight), beatings, and being separated from families and sold.  In my opinion, the most amazing account is about a nameless, adventurous woman slave from Mississippi.  She prayed much about becoming free someday.  One night, when everyone was asleep, she gathered some food and took off for a swamp.  She walked in water so the bloodhounds couldn’t track her.  But one time, she heard those bloodhounds and she wasn’t near water.  She was a devout Christian and went to her knees praying to God about what to do.  After praying, she felt peaceful and stood up.  As the dogs approached her, she reached into her pocket and grabbed some crumbs.  She held out her hand.  Instead of showing aggression, as bloodhounds were trained to seize and mangle, the bloodhounds simply ate the crumbs and ran off in the woods.  The woman then traveled to Canada stopping at homes on the way for a little food.  She made rafts to get across waterways.  When she got into Canada, she fell to her knees and kissed the ground.  Then, in pure joy, she jumped up and down for 1/2 hour.

The woman from Mississippi was so very thankful for freedom.  Being thankful pleases God.  What can you thank God for?

Ephesians 5:20

I don’t have to tell you that Black Friday is coming.  And if you’ve ever shopped on Black Friday before, you know how crazy it is.  Have you noticed that the thankful and content feasters from Thanksgiving a day before largely seem to become thankless and discontent on Black Friday?

One Black Friday, I saw an ad from a department store that offered a limited supply of free Mickey Mouse snow globes.  Because I thought they were cute, I decided to brave the crowds to get one.  It was understood that each customer could get one Mickey Mouse snow globe as long as they lasted.  I was thankful to get one.  But I saw one sort of disgruntled-looking woman grab two.  Maybe that woman wasn’t normally like that, and the swarming masses of Black Friday did something to her.  Whatever the reason for her action, she looked discontent.

Are you thankful or thankless?  In Ephesians 5:20, Paul says we should be, “always giving thanks.”  That’s a tall order, but we have to try.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:18

One day, I was behind a man in an express lane who had a baby and a stroller. The stroller played the role of a cart, and he had groceries stored on the back of it.  When he picked up a carton of eggs from the top, it revealed a baby food jar and a little spoon.  The baby was on his hip with one shoe on and one shoe off.  He grabbed an energy drink, paid for everything, carefully placed the baby in the stroller, tucked some groceries around the cute, content baby, and left.

If asked what he was thankful for, what do you think that man would say?  Energy drinks?  Seriously though, what are you thankful for?

I’m thankful for many things, including that our son and daughter love God, and that “under God” is still in our nation’s Pledge of Allegiance and is recited by kids at school.

There is much to be thankful for!  Happy Thanksgiving!