Thanksgiving Indigestion

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year. We had the privilege of having family over for a few days. Maybe that isn't such a privilege for you, but we are blessed with wonderful relationships across the bloodlines of siblings, in-laws, and everything in between. Our time together progressed in the typical American fashion. Family came in on Wednesday evening. We talked and played a game or two, all the while preparing for the big meal the next day. Thanksgiving morning dawned with delicious "sticky-buns" dripping with sugar and cinnamon out for breakfast and some morning physical activity to burn off a few calories before dinner. This year it was 18 holes of Frisbee golf with my brother in law.

Pretty soon football was on T.V., the smell of turkey was pervading the house, and everyone was anticipating the feast. Dinner was great and so was desert. The day seemed to be winding down in the normal way Thanksgivings do, with everyone slipping into a half-awake turkey coma while they indescribably still go to the fridge time after time for a bite of leftovers. It was during this time that things began to go downhill for me.

To say my stomach started to hurt would be an understatement; like saying the Bears wouldn't play as well without Jay Cutler or that pumpkin pie kind of tastes good. As I went to bed, I hoped it would go away, but it didn't. At 1 in the morning when I climbed out of bed, still without sleep, it still hadn't gone away. I got a lull at around 3 am, but then it came back with a vengeance 20 minutes later. It felt like I was a pumpkin having its insides scraped out, ready to be carved up. Finally, at 6 am, just after sunrise, the pain went away. It was pointless to go to bed at that point since the kids would be up soon. However, it did leave me with some undistracted  time in the word. (Now, I had been praying during this time, but I wasn't really able to concentrate too much on anything other than cleaning out our DVR for a few hours.)

The passage I was at was Isaiah 40. I found it extremely encouraging. Here are a few of the verses I read, anticipating the weary day ahead of me:

"28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."                                                  Isaiah 40:28-31 (ESV)

Whenever trials come into our lives, whether big or small, God promises to give us strength. In the grand scheme of things, this was a very small thing I went through. Others are wrestling with cancer, unemployment, sleepless nights with sick children and anxious thoughts, and a myriad of other things. Stomach cramps are hardly a thing to brag about overcoming. Yet, big or small, God gives us strength to get through each trial. He is an amazing God that knows each hair on our head and rules over the nations at the same time.

Whatever is grabbing your attention, whatever distracts you, whatever causes you worry or doubt, I hope you can trust in the Lord to give strength, and don't let a little Thanksgiving indigestion get you down.

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