Dear Friends and Loved Ones,
The beautiful leaves are falling as the weather turns colder. Thanksgiving is upon us and winter is approaching quickly. I watch the squirrels work hard to prepare for the cold snowy season and reflect on so many traditions that take place this time of year. I would like to share my thoughts with you about the many traditions and the season of Thanksgiving.
Every year my family goes to our lake home in Indiana for Thanksgiving. We enjoy sitting in front of the fireplace and reminiscing about what has occurred during the past year and feasting on a wonderful traditional dinner with turkey and all the assortments. Dinner would not be complete without pumpkin pie with whipped cream and sipping coffee. The rest of the day is spent watching football.
The remainder of the Thanksgiving weekend, I address several hundred Christmas cards with a special message written in each. It is my way of saying “thank you” for your friendship and how important you are to me. The Friday after Thanksgiving, Anita and I also write our annual Christmas letter that is sent out to many. Traditions make Thanksgiving so special.
However, I believe Thanksgiving is so much more than traditions and remembering the pilgrims. It is also a time to Thank God for all that he has done for us throughout the past year.
Life seems to be so much more complicated for all of us. Depression and suicide are on the rise, especially among young people. Our government is so divided that nothing gets done in Congress except for trying to prove who is right or wrong. There is no question that we all need to Thank God for being there with us in the good and bad times.
After I left our lake home last Thanksgiving and gave a talk at a local church I became very sick. I was in bed for almost 8 months—from December to August. I had two major surgeries and almost died on Christmas Eve at Henry Ford Hospital from acute respiratory distress caused by an antibiotic that I had been taking for 2 weeks.
During those 8 months, I had difficulty finding God. I kept reaching out to Him but it did not appear He was there. I just could not understand. He was there for me holding my hand and talking with me during my time of paralysis from my go-kart racing accident in 2001.
Why not this time? I so much wanted to talk with Him but He was not responding.
In reality, He was always there. Instead of holding my hand and talking with me, he sent angels to be with me. I just could not see them. I was looking for God but could not see the angels. As I look back, I am so very thankful to so many during that difficult time.
God promised us His love and grace would always be sufficient no matter what our difficulties are. Just look at Saint Paul’s life and why thirteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament have been attributed to him.
We have so much to be thankful for my friends. During good or bad times, life’s ups or downs, health or sickness, we shall always have gratitude especially for Jesus and his angels!
Have a very blessed Thanksgiving and holiday season.