It’s almost Thanksgiving. Norman Rockwell paintings feature picturesque families gathered around the table where a father stands at the head, carving the holiday turkey. These images represent what Thanksgiving aspires to be. The truth is, many find themselves utterly alone. People are estranged from their families. They may be recently divorced or widowed. Families suffer abuse, whether it be addictions, violence, or neglect. There is always someone facing the first Thanksgiving without a loved one who has died because of illness or tragedy. And every year thereafter the absence is felt. Sadly there are so many who are wounded and feel alone. These feelings of despair seem to magnify as other happy families gather with warm food to eat, surrounded by friends and family who love and support them. How do we find comfort and solace when we are struggling to be thankful?
My wish for all those sad hearts is that, especially when you feel hopelessly alone, you will stop and remember where the one true source of comfort is – the Savior, Jesus Christ. Christ has been given many titles: Jehovah, Son of God, Messiah, Holy One, and Redeemer, to name a few. He has also been called the Prince of Peace.
“And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” —Isaiah 9:6
We can remember that Jesus Christ has suffered all things in His great atonement for each of us, individually. We can find comfort and peace knowing that we are not alone. Christ truly experienced all of our sufferings, sadness, illness, heartache, and sin. The all-encompassing gift of His atonement makes healing possible from every affliction. When we remember Christ and call upon His infinite atonement, the blessings of His great sacrifice come into our lives. Through the Savior we can find solace.
I am touched by the lyrics of this beautiful song that served as the theme for a 2018 Christian youth program.
When we learn of Him
Feel the love He felt for us
When he bore our sins.
Listen to His words
Let them come alive
If we know Him as he is, there is peace in Christ
There is peace in Christ
When we walk with him
Through the streets of Galilee
Mend the broken hearts
Dry the tear-filled eyes
When we live the way He lived, there is peace in Christ
He gives us hope
When hope is gone
He gives us strength
When we can’t go on
He gives us shelter
In the storms of life
When there’s no peace on earth, there is peace in Christ
May our tear-filled eyes and broken hearts be healed as we turn to Jesus who truly reaches out to us to mend us. As we try to live the way He lived, our souls will be filled with love for others. I pray we can seek out those who are sad, lonely and broken, not only at Thanksgiving, but always. Even if our souls have sorrow, we can turn away from our own sadness and look to comfort others. We will be strengthened by His infinite power. As we strive to brighten the life of another, like all the miracles of Jesus, we can be a witness to the remarkable blessings that will come, both to us, and to them. In doing so our hearts will be filled with the blessing of peace.