Thanksgiving was definitely different. Instead of my day being filled with food, fun, and family, I spent my day in classes and ate a sandwich for dinner. But, I won’t complain. Thanksgiving is an American holiday and I’m not in America, so that was expected (though I really could have used a good meal from home). I also miss eating sunday dinners at my Grandma’s house. Just thinking about the food makes me mouth water. Literally.

Today, I woke up too late to go to church on time, so I watched an on-line sermon again. There are definitely benefits to being able to watch sermons on-line, in the comfort of your own home, on your own time schedule, but I digress. I found it quite interesting that the Pastor spoke from the same passage from the Bible that my Uncle had sent to me a few days before Thanksgiving. Is it a coincidence? Some may believe so.

 In the email my uncle addresses me and his other siblings who have email. (6 out of the 10) I would like to share our email conversation: Hopefully, it blesses you like it blessed me.

 He wrote, “Good morning, I want to let you all of you know that I’m so proud of each of you. Having all of you in my life has made my life better than I could ever imagine. We are so blessed to have a loving Mom that raised all of us. Please during this thanksgiving let’s all remember and be so thankful we still have a loving mother that loves us all so dearly. All of us know she did the best with what she had for us. I can only say each of us still should continue to follow Jesus.

In the book of Mark, chapter six, we read that the disciples got into a boat, at night, and took out across the sea. In their obedience to Jesus, the disciples ran directly into a storm. Their obedience literally took them into the nucleus of a disaster. I wish I could tell you that following Jesus means you will never have to face any storms.

 I wish I could tell you that following Jesus means that the waters of life will always be calm. I wish I could tell you that following Jesus means life will be rosy and all of your days sweet. But I can’t. These disciples were following Jesus, and they ran right into rough-seas. The disciples discovered, as many of us have also discovered, that you can be both in the center of God’s will, and still in a storm.

There is a lot of preaching today as well as many Christian books that tell you that if you follow Jesus, than you will never have to face any challenges in life. That wasn’t true for Jesus, or for anyone else I know who has followed Him. Following Jesus doesn’t offer immunity from troubles. What it does give is the opportunity to experience Him in the midst of the trouble. Life comes with troubles, regardless of whether or not you follow Jesus. You get to choose if you want Him to join you in your troubles, or if you’d rather go through them alone.

(Sometimes God doesn’t give you what you think you want, not because you don’t deserve it, but because you deserve so much more.)”

 Even though I was away from my family this Thanksgiving and I was unable to partake in any of the dishes on that day, I was still fed spiritually, which is more than meat or raiment.

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