When thanksgiving is felt in every bone and sinew of your body, it causes your eyes to tear up. This is the passion of being overwhelmed with true thanks-giving, when our hearts “well up and the natural overflow are freely flowing tears.
We had the privilege of visiting Prince Edward Island (PEI) this fall. The northern edge of PEI by the ocean is the exquisite setting of the beloved series of books by Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables. We walked through and around the house, Green Gables, and its lovely surroundings. My daughters loved these stories of the life of fictional character Anne Shirley, who was mistakenly, because she was a girl not a boy, taken in as an orphan. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert had wanted a boy to help with the farm work, but instead in an act of Providence not luck, which Matthew acknowledged later on, an unusual, very talkative, and imaginative 11 year old red-haired girl showed up at the train station. Marilla, an older, crusty, straight laced spinster living with her brother, Matthew, a quiet man of soft heart, and strong work habit, had their life forever changed by Anne. The delight she brought into their lives in their later age is palpable on every page of the beloved story.
Near the end of the first book, Matthew dies of a heart attack, and Marilla is forced to consider selling her wonderful home, Green Gables. However, Anne, who has grown into her late teens and gone away to teacher’s school where she wins a coveted scholarship to continue her studies in a four year college, turns down the scholarship to stay at home, teach the Avonlea school, and be with Marilla at Green Gables. Marilla responds to Anne then, when her heart is so overwhelmed with thanksgiving, that her tongue is moved to speak, which is not akin to her personality in the past. “We’ve got each other, Anne. I don’t know what I’d do if you weren’t here—if you’d never come. Oh, Anne, I know I’ve been kind of strict and harsh with you maybe—but you mustn’t think I didn’t love you as well as Matthew did, for all that. I want to tell you now when I can. It’s never been easy for me to say things out of my heart, but at times like this it’s easier. I love you as dear as if you were my own flesh and blood and you have been my joy and comfort ever since you came to Green Gables.
If you are a past reader of this series, tears most probably came to your eyes at this moment, as in others, especially if you had been engrossed in the entire story prior to this; so too with the Apostle Paul and his beloved brothers and sisters in Thessalonica. Paul is not averse to tears of joy and thanksgiving, for his heart has been expanded by the Holy Spirit to swell with love for his children in the faith; but notice to whom his thanks for them is given? “For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God?
Just as Paul longed to do, see them face to face, so shall you be with loved ones face to face this Thanksgiving, or wish that you were. But your thanksgiving is misplaced if you give it to them alone, or to yourself, as some are wont to do. Paul knows, as we should know, love and longing for others, joy and comfort which comes from being loved by children, spouse, and friends, and also loving them in return, would never be if it were not for the amazing love and providence of God, and the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, which makes all this possible. This would never be unless God had loved and Jesus had died. This Thanksgiving, as throughout the year, give thanks to God with tears; tears not of sorrow, but tears of joy and comfort, because His mercies are new every morning! Great is your faithfulness!
As we celebrated the season of Thanksgiving, leave a comment below and let us know what you are thankful of…[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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