As we enter the last week before Thanksgiving, is anyone else having difficulty thinking about being thankful?
This year is the first time I can ever remember in my (now long) life that I have hesitated to want to get together with family and/or friends on this (usually) most enjoyable holiday. Things like a global pandemic, a contested election, an uncertain economy, and all sorts of unknowns have tended to put doubts about how to live normally in an unusual world.
In various conversations over the past several months, one of the most common questions I have faced is, “Where is God in all of this?” The questions seem to point the finger at God and almost declare that all the trials are his fault, while at the same time wondering why, if He is so powerful, He does not rescue us out of the difficult situations and environment in which we find ourselves.
Those questions are natural ones, looking for logical answers, but they miss the reality of the true character of God.
In the Gospel of Matthew, we have the recorded words of Jesus himself, when he was training the twelve disciples and showing them what it meant to live by faith. There he reveals something to them – that “the very hairs on your head are all numbered.” (Matthew 10:30). Have you ever thought about that?
The average human head, according to the experts — and we’re not talking about aging heads where the hair is falling out by the fistful — the average human head contains about 100,000 hairs. The actual number varies depending upon the hair color. And I must admit, I have never even thought about numbering them. I have never even considered questions such as “I wonder how Number 624 is doing?”
But when Christ tells us that every one of them has been numbered or counted, that is significant to me. It tells me one thing about Him – If God cares for things that matter so little, then he cares for things that matter much more. If God knows each strand of hair individually, he knows each of us individually as well.
God cares about the littlest details of my life! God cares about me!
Several months ago, the church we attend here in Florida broke ground for a new addition – yes, it was during the pandemic! – and began construction on this new project.
For two years, the church has been raising the funds necessary to complete the construction of a new sanctuary. The amazing thing is that even though they had established a credit line with a local bank in order to borrow the millions needed to complete the project, to date, the building, although not nearly completed yet, has yet to even begin to touch that money.
God has been answering the prayers of many to provide the funds for this huge project.
One day, after taking a tour of the building in process, we drove to a local restaurant for a special meal together with another couple from our small group.
As we drove into the very crowded parking lot, I made a simple statement, “OK, Lord, do your thing.”
My bride them provided the commentary to the other couple with us. She said, of me, “You know, he has a very unique spiritual gift, the gift of parking!” And just as she said that, a car pulled out of a slot right in front of the main entrance to the restaurant!
You know, that demonstrated for me that God not only cares about the multi-million-dollar building, but he also cares about the small incidental need for a parking space too!
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the great British pastor and preacher of the Word of God, once proclaimed, “Blessed is that man who seeth God in trifles!”
That tells me that, as someone once said, “The God of the large is also the God of the small!”
God cares about all the big stuff going on in our world, but He also cares about… well, me… and you!
And for all that, we indeed can be thankful!
Happy Thanksgiving! (one week early!)
God bless …
Chuck Tabor is a regular columnist for the News Journal and a former pastor in the area. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.