My son, Paul, brought this beautiful Thanksgiving gift home from school when he was in 1st grade. At first glance, I noticed his precious little hands were used to make the feathers of the turkey. However, what I found most intriguing was the paragraph about what he is thankful for. I think his words truly capture the essence of what family is all about, “family loves you no matter what and helps you when you fall”.
As I meditated on this phrase, I thought of the examples in this life where this has been true. When I think of those times of great triumph: graduations, marriage, births, moves to new places, and new experiences…I am surrounded by family in my memories. When I think of those times in life where I experienced deep personal tragedy: illness, miscarriage, loss of job, broken relationships, and pain…I am again surrounded by family in my memories. When I think of those times I might not have been the easiest to live with, I was selfish, and my choices were questionable at best…I am surrounded by family in my memories.
The most beautiful gift in this world is Jesus Christ, who took my sin upon himself and died on the cross in my place, to give me His righteousness. Through my faith in His substituationary death, I am accepted by God. It is as if I have never sinned and I have always obeyed. I am unconditionally loved and received with open arms. The second most beautiful gift is family. When family is experienced in the way God intended it to be, it beautifully mirrors our relationship with God…unconditionally loved and always accepted. I am most thankful for the gift of Jesus and family this Thanksgiving season. My prayer is that everyone would come to know the unconditional love of God, and would have a family life that mirrors His love.