He had been deployed for a year. He missed his family and they missed him just as much. The days were long and hard. It was difficult being in a country where you did not know who to trust. The suspicion of someone hiding a bomb was ever present. How he longed for home.
His wife and daughters had missed him just as much. Sometimes it was difficult to pay the bills, but she was coping. Being separated from him brought loneliness to her heart. The girls would ask about their father. Occasionally he would send pictures, but it wasn’t the same as having him there. She would be lonely this Thanksgiving.
He had failed to tell her he was coming home. He wanted to surprise all of them. When he walked in a couple of days before Thanksgiving, there was great joy in all of their lives. He kissed his wife and children. He gave them big hugs which they returned. They would be thankful for his safe return as they celebrated with family this year.
Perhaps this scene will be seen across the land. In any case this is a time to be thankful. There are so many things in each of our lives that we can be thankful for, no matter what we’re going through in life. The song tells us to "Count your many blessings, name them one by one."
Leprosy is a dreaded disease. The Bible has many who were lepers. Some of them were healed. Lepers had to be separated from their families and the community where they lived. There were ten who met Jesus and asked to be healed (LK 17:11-19). Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priest. As they were going they were cleansed. One of them came back to thank God. Jesus’ question was "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?" (LK 17:18) Only this one returned to offer up thankfulness to the One who healed him. Now he could go home to his family. Now he could kiss his wife and children. He could hug his family and let his children sit on his lap.
Each day should be a day of thanksgiving for us. We must be thankful for our God and Savior. We must be thankful for our salvation. We must be thankful for the many blessings we have in our lives. And as we are, our God and Father is pleased with His Creation. Happy Thanksgiving!