I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.” Philippians 1:3
It was a memorable Thanksgiving. My wife Judy and I have a treasure chest full of good memories and stories. That is one reason I like Grits so much. It gives me the opportunity to remember and share just some of those treasures. A lot of the memories and stories were written during our fourteen years at Cobden First Baptist. During those years, we were slowly wedded into what can only be described as family. Our children grew up there…and one, baby Sarah was born there. We laughed together, we cried together and well, we did life together.
As our tenth anniversary approached, the church planned a big surprise. They decided to raise the money for Judy and me to visit the Holy Land. It was about a year later that the funds were in place, the plans were made, and the tickets bought. We were to see Greece, Israel and Egypt. We would visit many of the sites of ancient Greece, walk where Jesus walked and see where the Pharaohs lived and died. It was an incredible journey that we can never forget and there was something that happened after the trip that remains one of our most special memories.
You see, the way the trip was planned meant that we would be gone from our girls over Thanksgiving. It was a hard call for us but once again the church made it easier. One of the families agreed to move into our house while we were gone and ride herd over the three Taylor girls. So while we would miss Thanksgiving with them, they had Thanksgiving there with our good friends. I can well remember Thanksgiving in Egypt. Of course, there it was just another day. The only way you would have known it was Thanksgiving was that the American Embassy announced on the English-speaking channel that they would be closed that day. We found it hard to believe that the rest of the world just went about their way as America celebrated the goodness of God.
Well, in a few days after that day, we were back home. I remember we got back home at about 3:30 am and it was a Sunday. We set the alarm and later I fumbled through some sort of message. I am sure it was not one of my better ones but once the church was kind enough to act like it was. Now for the surprise—now for a very special Thanksgiving memory. Are you ready? Well, we drove home after church, ready for a nap and wondering what we were going to eat for lunch. We walked in the back door and into the kitchen and there, waiting for us, was a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. As we walked into the dining room we found the table set with our finest china…just like it would have been had we been there for Thanksgiving Day.
Can you feel it? Can you imagine it? I know for us it was one of those memories that will burn in our hearts and minds till the last heartbeat. And, as you can guess, it wasn’t just the meal, it wasn’t just the table—it was the thoughtfulness of it all. And that is the big truth I want you to remember. While this particular memory was so generous and amazing…it was the thoughtfulness of it all that writes it on our hearts in permanent ink. You see, we all can make that impact…rich or poor…because thoughtfulness doesn’t have to be expensive…at least not in the sense of dollar bills and coins. Thoughtfulness is something that the poorest or richest can do.
Paul writes in Philippians 1:3, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.” It’s special that he wrote that, but it is even more special when we realize this. Not every memory of his time in Philippi was good…after all he got beat up and thrown in jail for doing nothing but helping a young girl. No…what caused him to write that was the thoughtfulness of his friends there. More than once they were a friend when no one else would be. I’ve pastored four churches in my forty-year pastoring journey and along the way we have met so many wonderful, thoughtful people. From Quarles…my first church, to Dorrisville, my present church, our hearts have been touched with thoughtful people.
This week, be sure and do what anyone can do but so many won’t remember to do…be thoughtful toward someone who needs a little lift, a little love, a little kindness. After all, our Dearest Father has been so thoughtful to us. If you need a little guidance along the way, just remember that your thoughtful Father thought about that too. He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne