A Thankful Six-pack

Thursday, November 07, 2013 Posted by Lezlie Winberry

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“How long have you gals been celebrating each others?” The guest asked.
      “It’s been over a decade,” we chimed in around the table. “As single women,” I clarified, “six of us began getting together for Christmas, then for birthdays. If someone moved away, another came along to compliment and increase our six-pack.”
      I traditionally hosted the fall birthdays of our group during November, America’s month of Thanksgiving celebration. I had asked God how I could initiate an attitude of thanks around the table. After printing off verses with words pertaining to thanks, and reflecting on each verse, I wrote a word of encouragement on the back. I folded, mixed the verses up, then placed them by each woman’s plate—not knowing who would receive which one.
      When we began sharing how the verse and what was written on the back, spoke to us personally, the chatter quieted. My verse had to do with thanking God for His good deeds and sharing them with others; another spoke of thanking God for His people; another on how generosity brings forth thanksgiving to God. But the hardest verse for many, landed in the hands of the woman who had a difficult time getting to our get-together. Arthritic pain plagued her body.
      “I don’t know if I can get through this,” she said wiping at her eyes as she read: “Thank God in everything no matter what the circumstances may be; be thankful and give thanks, for this is the will of God for you. (I Thess. 5:18)” Tears rushed forth. “I’m afraid to read what’s on the back,” she paused to grab a napkin. “Okay, here goes,” she said between sobs. Turning her verse over, she read her message from God.
      I see every tear that drops. I know your struggles and hardships. I’m here holding you up every step of the way.” Now her tears splashed onto her plate.       
“As hard as the pain is,” she continued, “I’m thankful God is there for me.” After a brief pause, she looked at all of us. “I’m also thankful for each one of you—your prayers, love, and friendship throughout the years.” By the end of the evening, we had our Christmas gathering scheduled and planned. :)
      God has given our group more than a six-pack of faithful friends over the decade. He’s given us a family: a safe place to share our hearts, both from pain and in joy.
      I love this month of celebrating thanks—for family, friends, and for you, my readers. Thus, I leave you all with Paul’s famous greeting: “We always thank God for all of you,” 1Thess 1:2; and Philippians 1:3, “I thank my God every time I remember you.”



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