Surely, most of us have something to give thanks for. We all have problems, aches and things that we desire.
Many of us have felt like we missed out on something. Everybody has a regret or two. Most of us have grumbled a bit about most everything. In the midst of it all, surely we can find some way to give thanks.
A thankful spirit eases the spirit. Surely it’s good for blood pressure, chest pains, anxiety and a better night’s sleep.
We have worries. We stress out about life even if the problems are small. While many have big problems, others people’s problems are small in comparison.
Thousands of Americans are homeless. We are having temperatures in the low twenties in November. Many homeless people who I have personally talked to deal with not knowing where they will sleep or what they will eat. Many have small tents, or even try to sleep on park benches. I can’t imagine.
About twenty years ago, I was only about twelve months into buying a house when I lost my job. The house payment was hefty plus I had two car payments, a very sick wife and two small boys. We were living paycheck to paycheck and suddenly I was on the bottom, terrified and desperate to quickly find a job. I learned at that time that the toughest time to find a job is when you desperately need one. I drove everywhere in search of a job. Prospective employers were kind by suggesting that maybe later down the road they might have an opportunity. I needed something immediately. There was almost never a moment that I slept at night.
After becoming unemployed, I also felt friendless. For years, I thought I had zillions of friends. Suddenly, it seemed as if no one knew me. I felt as if I had been dropped into a bottomless chasm, and nobody cared.
I came up with a solution. I would end my life. Briefly I felt uplifted and hopeful. This would be the way out of what seemed to be no way out. I lived in a nice neighborhood at the time and decided to take a walk at 1 a.m. The sky was clear and it appeared as if every star was shining that night. It was one of those nights when I felt like I could touch each star. As I walked through the neighborhood that late summer evening, I was very alone without the sound of cars or children playing. It was dead silent. I could hear my heart beating in the quiet of the night. I started thinking, ‘I have a wonderful family who needs me. I have to be here for them. Taking my life would be a horrific act of selfishness.’
I went back home and got on my knees and asked God to lead me and help me. If I ever needed a miracle from God it was then. I told God I would do anything, go anywhere.
About two weeks later, a man from Indiana called me and said, “Glenn, would you be interested in moving to Indiana?”
Quietly, I thought to myself, God, anything but Indiana! However, our family pulled up, moved and it ended up being the most empowering twenty years of my life. God took care of our family in an incredible way.
Looking back twenty years ago, I felt like we were just a month or two away from being homeless. It was a frightening feeling. I am sad for the thousands of Americans who do not have a place to sleep. I try to do what I can yet it never feels like it’s enough.
I am so grateful. I’m grateful for a warm house and comfortable bed. I’m thankful for food to eat and work that I love to do. I’m thankful for my loving wife, family and so much more.
Maybe this Thanksgiving you are having trouble being thankful. Maybe your life is painful and you are spiraling downward into a dark chasm. My hope for you is that one night you might see the stars in their entire splendor and that your life will soon shine among them full of thanksgiving.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author. His columns appear in all 50 states. For more information, visit: www.glennmollette.com.