Thanksgiving!

And from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.  John 1:16

Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey (Photo credit: tengrrl)

I love Thanksgiving.

Of course, we have a million reasons to thank God every single day. But, to have a day specifically set aside to do so is a great blessing.

For our family, Thanksgiving is the pinnacle of our family gatherings throughout the year. It is a day rich in tradition, a part of the legacy left to us by our grandparents and parents that we are handing down to our children and now (in some cases), their children. It is a time we set aside to eat, play, fellowship, and worship the Lord together.

All of us try each year to attend, but as our families have grown there are times when that’s not possible. (The in-laws want time with their family members, too. Understandable!) But this year is different.

As many of you know, my mom was diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer last summer. This turn of events has intensified our resolve to spend our holiday as one, big family. And so, this Thanksgiving we will all be together. All 38 or so of us!

There have been some very low points in this journey with Mom. And make no mistake, this trial is by no means over. But, amazingly, we approach this Thanksgiving with, well, thanksgiving!

While it is true that our trials test us, throughout this trial I think that God has given us the honor of testing Him. The result? Our family has experienced first-hand the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father. Again and again He has proven Himself to us. We have learned that His Word is sure, His character is true and His promises are real. The Lord has done a great work in our hearts and minds. We have walked through the crucible together and stand ready to raise our hands and our voices this Thanksgiving and shout, “Hallelujah! God is good and we THANK HIM!”

I stand amazed at what the Lord has so freely given us even in the midst of a cancer diagnosis for our mother. What mercy! What hope! What love! What grace! How could we ever withhold our deepest thanks to such a God as this!

Most importantly, when I think of what I have been given by virtue of the Gospel compared to what I deserve, my only rational response is a heartfelt giving of thanks to the Lord.

Praying all of you know His goodness this Thanksgiving.

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel

About Terrie van Baarsel


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