This blog is about Thanksgiving, but it is not your typical Peanuts Thanksgiving Special kind of talk.
Genesis 22:14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
Maybe you have heard the phrase Jehovah Jireh, which means “the Lord will provide.”
God will provide for us in many ways. He will provide for our country. He will provide for our health, especially in the midst of this pandemic and the rising number of cases. But it is not just the big things. God provides in the small things and we need to be aware of them, so that we give him the glory, but also so that we acknowledge that God is still at work in our lives. God did not just create the earth, set it in motion, and then left us to our own devices. He is with us every day.
So my father who is quite old has not retired and still runs his used bicycle business. He has been worried because he has delayed servicing his septic tank for too many years and now is worried because it is being used more.
I tried myself to find it, but gave up after realizing that what I thought was the tank was likely just my hitting large rocks.
My father worked with several companies to try and service it, but they all needed to actually find the tank. You see there is no accurate map of where it is. One company said they would come, but never did. Two actually came and tried to look for it, once used some sort of ground penetrating radar and the other just a metal rod to probe the ground. Finally, one of those two came back and tried to dig for it by hand, but found nothing.
My father in all of this grew more anxious. On November 21st, Gideon and I went down to Keyport to visit my father. I expected that we would probably do some bike repair, since that is what we did the previous week. The contractors, who dug the hole, suggested that the tank may have disintegrated. I decided that Gideon and I could expand the hole, possibly digging it deeper and a little wider. Maybe we would get lucky and find the tank? All we knew was the area where the sewage line left the house. The area that the tank could be under was probably no more than 40 feet by 15 feet. But we did not know how deep underground the tank would be. If so, searching that entire area by digging to any particular depth could have taken days.
We probably had not been digging for more than 30 minutes when Gideon found something that appeared to be a significant amount of stone. It appeared to be flat, so in the hope that it was the wall, we dug along it to the left. It did appear to be a wall. As we dug to the right, we found a corner. We figured that this must be the wall. We both started digging on the same side of the hole and quickly we were able to expose the top corner of the tank. Dad, all excited, acted as the foreman, with Gideon and I as the laborers. Gideon marked out what we thought would be the shape of the tank and we dug a channel in the dirt towards the center on a diagonal, figuring that once we found the edge of the hatch (or whatever you call it) we would expand our digging and expose the hatch, so the pros could open and clean it out. It may have taken us an additional hour of digging, but we eventually found the hatch and cleared it off completely.
My father was ecstatic, to the point of getting choked up over it. I was amazed that we were able to do something that the professionals had not been able to, even though they were very close. When I think about it, I think God had his hand in the mix. You could be a doubter and say that the professionals didn’t want to find it. I am going to trust that they tried their best and missed finding the tank by inches. In the end, all that matters is that we found it.
Later, at dinner, I asked my father if he would like to give thanks over the meal and he started, but immediately got choked up again and could not. If that ever happens to you, don’t feel ashamed that you can’t pray. God knows your heart.
Romans 8:26 "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."
I said a prayer for the meal (pizza and zeppoles). It was not Thanksgiving Day, but we were ever so thankful to God for finding that tank. This time of year you may have a hard time finding something to be thankful for. Or you may have a hard time putting it into words. Don’t think that you need to be eloquent. Never compare how you pray to the way someone else prays. God wants to have a conversation with you. That is what prayer is. Do your part and thank him on Thanksgiving for something, even if it seems small. Are you still here and breathing, that is enough! But maybe there is something too emotional going on this year. This year of 2020. If so, the Holy Spirit will intercede for you. Maybe just a moment of silence? God knows your heart and hears your prayer. He knows what you need, even if you do not.
This hymn of praise might help inspire to think about things to be thankful for.
1 We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the land, but it is fed and watered by God's almighty hand; he sends the snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain, the breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain.
Refrain: All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above; then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord for all his love.
2 He only is the maker of all things near and far; he paints the wayside flower, he lights the evening star. The winds and waves obey him; by him the birds are fed; much more to us, his children, he gives our daily bread. [Refrain]
3 We thank thee, then, O Father, for all things bright and good, the seed-time and the harvest, our life, our health, our food. Accept the gifts we offer for all thy love imparts, and, what thou most desirest, our humble, thankful hearts. [Refrain]
Common Praise (1998) #258
Jehovah.Jireh. The Lord will provide. Amen. Amen!