Bob Tamasy: Giving Thanks When You Don’t Feel Thankful

Monday, November 25, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Thanksgiving means different things to many people: Pilgrims and native Americans sharing a meal; turkeys – living, or stuffed and roasted (or fried); family and friends getting together to stuff themselves; traditional football games; Grandma’s favorite recipes; holiday parades; pecan or pumpkin pie. Some people actually see it as a day for genuine thanksgiving, being thankful to God for blessings they’ve experienced over the past year.


But what if the day arrives and you don’t feel thankful? You’ve recently lost a dear loved one; confronted seemingly insurmountable financial problems; dealt with serious health issues; faced intense family conflict; lost a job, or just feel like has dealt you a bad hand in general and there’s no re-deal. How can you be thankful for things such as these?


Years ago I helped my friend, Albert, write a booklet about his life titled, “Saying ‘Thank You’ Even When You Don’t Feel Thankful.” Those who know him understand he’s had many reasons for not feeling thankful.


He grew up in the Netherlands during World War II, enduring great poverty and near-starvation. He and his family subsisted on tulip bulbs and occasional sugar beets. One result of malnutrition was contracting tuberculosis and being confined to a bed for more than three years, 2½ of those in a hospital far from his family.


After immigrating to the United States, Albert worked hard and eventually became a successful entrepreneur, but has endured various business setbacks and other illnesses, including cancer. He’s got every reason to not be thankful, whether at Thanksgiving or any other time. And yet, he’s perhaps the most joyful, thankful person I know.


Why? There’s only one reason – his relationship with Jesus Christ and confidence that no matter what happens, God is with him every step along the way, providing comfort, strength and whatever else is needed to endure and overcome his adversities.


Albert explains, “God is in control of all things. When you accept Christ, your life is going to be totally changed. One of those changes is that you realize everything is going to be all right, no matter what.


“I have seen God prove this in my life many times,” he says. “I’ve had half of a lung removed because of a faulty biopsy report. One night I was riding in a car on the German Autobahn. Suddenly a car stopped directly in front of us. We struck it going about 95 miles an hour, yet I was able to walk away from the accident. And I’ve had many ups and downs in business.


“God never promises things will be easy when you become a Christian, but He does promise He will take care of you no matter what the circumstances may be.”


For Albert, reflecting on his life’s highs and lows, one passage from the Bible sums up the hope – confident assurance and earnest expectation – that has sustained him during his adult life: “Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).


Having known Albert for more than 30 years, I know these are not empty words or platitudes, but the heartfelt expression of a man who has walked intimately with God and wouldn’t trade his life with anyone or for anything.


I hope when Thanksgiving Day arrives this Thursday, you’ll find much for which to be thankful. If not, I hope that like my friend, you’ll be able to give thanks even if you don’t feel thankful.


---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Mitch McClure To Speak On "We Can Join Them" On Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God announced that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, "We Can Join Them" in the  10:30 a.m.  service on  Sunday .   Each  Sunday  at  9:30 a.m.,   Sunday  school classes are available for all age groupings.   Presently  the pastor is leading ... (click for more)

Mike Huckabee To Speak At Abba's House

Former pastor and governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee will join Dr. Ron Phillips and Dr. Ronnie Phillips Jr. for an All American Day celebration, o n  July 2, at  10:30 a.m.  at Abba’s House . “It’s a time for us to reflect upon how good God has been to America and how it’s time for us to be good to God.” - Mike Huckabee All American Day will also feature ... (click for more)

Man Found With Home-Made Explosive Device Near Businesses In Hixson

A man was found with a home-made explosive device outside businesses in Hixson late Tuesday night.   A business was evacuated and portions of Highway 153 and Hamill Road were cordoned off while the device was taken away.   Joshua Redden, 34, was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon, public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession ... (click for more)

Man Shot In Home Invasion Early Wednesday Morning

A man was shot in a home invasion early Wednesday morning.   Chattanooga Police responded to a person shot on the 6000 block of Arlena Circle at 4:40 a.m. Upon arrival, police located the victim, Edward Greatheart, 41,  who was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound.   Mr. Greatheart was treated on the scene and transported to a local hospital ... (click for more)

Life For Our Ancestors In 1890

May 26-27 is the 1890’s Day Jamboree in Ringgold. I encourage any reader to attend and enjoy that wonderful community. I love having grown up in Northwest Georgia and celebrating our veterans, including both of my grandfathers who served in WWII.  But I also want to describe how the 1890’s were for my ancestors, living here in a singularly turbulent time. Based on, among ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Life With 007

I was 13 when the first of 24 James Bond movies came out and, at a time when my sap was just beginning to rise, I will never forget Ursula Andress stepping out of the sea wearing that white bikini. Our hero walks over to the dripping Honey Ryder – that was her name in “Dr. No” – and she says in the Swiss accent, “Are you looking for shells too?” And the first classic reply of thousands ... (click for more)