Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
We're preparing to celebrate our 7th Thanksgiving here in Israel, and as you may or may not know, the majority of Israelis have never heard of this holiday. So it’s always an adventure on the day we go out hunting for a turkey and all the other Thanksgiving foods which Americans are normally accustomed to. You see, most Israelis have never contemplated the idea of cooking a turkey whole, (not that the little Israeli ovens could even fit one if they had).
Facing this Thanksgiving challenge year after year has improved our hunting skills, but nothing in past years compares to the first year we celebrated Thanksgiving — it was a total fiasco! We pre-ordered a turkey several days in advance from the local butcher, and when we went to pick it up, he informed us that they had to cut it up for parts, because they ran out of meat. By that time it was Wednesday evening, we were looking forward to a slew of guests arriving the next day for Thanksgiving dinner…TURKEYLESS!!! We ended up having to pay a whole LOT of money for this ugly, frozen, lopsided, skinny, feathery, turkey (with the neck still attached) the afternoon of Thanksgiving, with barely enough time to cook it (thank God it was skinny!). We actually had to saw off the neck and pluck the ugly thing with tweezers! Then, when we went to the grocery store, we asked for canned cranberry sauce and they pointed us to the beverage aisle, having no earthly idea what we were talking about. Even with all the chaos however, we stayed hopeful and determined to get the job done. We ended up having a wonderful time and got to share the Good news of Messiah with a number of searching Israelis.
So every year since then, we have praised and thanked God that it’s nothing like our first Thanksgiving in the land. But the moral of the story really is, that sometimes things don’t go exactly the way we’d expected or hoped -- yet we still need to hang in there for the sake of the final outcome, because our God has a way of making us thankful, even when we are turkeyless, or even when we feel like turkeys.
If things aren’t going your way today, don’t get all flustered and featherless, feeling like you’ve been gobbled up. Keep your eyes on the prize! The Lord never promised it would be easy, but he did promise us great rewards for enduring till the end! And that’s something to be really thankful for. Have a grateful and joyful Thanksgiving!