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What are you thankful for?

12 Nov 2015 | LCDR Garry R. Thornton, Jr., CHC, USN, Regimental Chaplain, Wounded Warrior Regiment Marine Corps Base Quantico

November is here! All around us the leaves are changing into their bright and brilliant colors before the deciduous trees are left barren. The days are shortening. And, the weather is getting colder. I love the transition from autumn into winter. There is a certain kind of melancholy that is very comfortable. And, yet, for some it is a very difficult and even depressing time.

If you struggle with feeling down or depressed this time of year, I would remind you of the words of Scripture found in Psalm 43. The context here is very different. David was experiencing stress and sadness due to the ongoing oppression of his adversaries. Nonetheless, he asked himself: “Why am I so sad? Why am I so upset? I tell myself, ‘Wait for God’s help! You will again have a chance to praise Him, your God, the One who will save you.’”

Friends, David knew that the source of his strength and salvation was God! He also knew that he had a significant part to play in his own well-being. In a manner of speaking, he had to eliminate the negative thoughts and feelings and, instead, insert, accentuate and be thankful for that which is positive.

It is amazing what happens when we take captive our thoughts and attitudes and focus on being thankful to God for all the good things He has done on our behalf.

On that note, this time of year always reminds me to be thankful. As the birthday balls approach, I am thankful for the Navy-Marine Corps Team who has served our great nation so well for the past 240 years. Happy birthday, Navy and Marine Corp! Soon we will celebrate Veteran’s Day. I am thankful for all veterans — past and present — who have fought, and died, in every clime and place to protect, preserve and promote freedom and democracy. May God’s blessings be upon our veterans, especially the wounded, ill and injured among us. And, of course, with the highlight of this month being Thanksgiving and the ushering in of the holiday season, I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude to God for His love and the loving family He has given me along with all other provisions I need for a happy, healthy and productive life. I am also grateful to have the energy, ability and resources to be of help to those who have not met with the same good fortune in this life, for whatever the reason. Thank you, Eternal Father.

Over and over in Scripture we are encouraged and admonished to, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” (I Chronicles 16:34; Psalm 100:5, 107:1, 118:29, 136:1) The fact of the matter is that we get as much out of the expression and experience of thanks-giving as God does.

So, I would encourage you in this time of the year and in this season of life to get in touch with your inner thoughts and feelings, to go to God and to give Him thanks. I promise you, it will change your outlook and your life. And, it just might help you to influence, affect and change the life of another.

Marine Corps Base Quantico