Maintaining a thankful heart in the midst of trying times (Week 4)

November 20, 2019

This month, in recognition of the National Day of Thanksgiving, we have been encouraging our readers to have a thankful heart regardless of their circumstances. This series has been dedicated to two dear friends, identified only as “S & D” who are both dealing with a health crisis involving their husbands. In the conclusion of this series, I want to encourage you in the midst of trying, difficult times, to serve others with a thankful and grateful heart.

My fellow church member, who helped to inspire this series, did just that. In the midst of her trying time, she served me by taking the time to call and say “I just want to hear your voice.” What she did not know is her voice message deeply touched my heart and brought a smile to my face. Never disdain the small things, the little acts of service, because God chooses such to accomplish great things. No act of service is small if it is done to the glory of God.

While you may think serving others when you are suffering is ridiculous because you may feel you have nothing to give; research has found many examples of how doing good, in many ways, big or small, not only feels good, but also does us good. According to an article in Psychology Today, “our well-being can benefit from practicing pro-social behavior, helping others regulate their emotions helps us regulate our own emotions, decreases symptoms of depression and ultimately, improves our emotional well-being.” (In Helping Others, You Help Yourself, May 2018, Dr. Marianna Pogosyan.) In addition, when we help and serve others, we are also serving God. Matthew recorded the poignant words of Jesus at Matthew 25:40:

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’.”

When you are going through a trying time, find someone you can serve/ help. Whether it is a pledge of your time, money or both, St. Francis of Assisi said “it is in giving that we receive.” While this is a simple statement, it is both true and profound. We are called to make a difference in this world. When we serve/help others we in turn help ourselves. When we help others, it is the best feeling in the world.

This very well can be the testimony of my co-workers. In the first article of this series, I mentioned my dear co-worker who is going through a difficult health crisis involving her husband. My heart was warmed when fellow co-workers offered help and assistance during her time of crises. God never ceases to amaze me! The selfless act of kindness by my co-workers was a stark reminder that God’s love comes in many ways, from all walks of life, and in all shapes, sizes and colors.

Beloved, allow this writer to take this opportunity during this season of Thanksgiving, to convey why I am so thankful. I am thankful for Jesus the Christ and how He has continually kept, guided, and sustained me through the good, the bad and the ugly. I thank Him for my children, who even in their early young adult years continue to amaze me and of whom I am tremendously proud. I also thank God for the wonderful blessing of my grandson and the addition of my beautiful daughter-in-love to our family. I thank God for my sisters, one of whom has gone to be with the Lord and my late parents who brought me into this world. I am thankful for you, my faithful readers, who are diligent in your pursuit to obtain a copy of the Milwaukee Times to read these weekly articles, and those of you who wave, smile or somehow get my attention whether you see me at a restaurant, the mall or grocery shopping to encourage me to continue to provide this weekly column. I also thank God for Lynda Conyers and the late Nathan Conyers, who gave me this opportunity nearly two decades ago, to provide this ministry to you through the printed word. For all these things, and many more, too innumerable to count, I am extremely and humbly grateful!

May God Bless You and Have A Happy Thanksgiving!!

Yours Because of Calvary,
Rev. Judith T. Lester,
B.Min., M.Th.
Lovingly Dedicated to “S & D”

Next Month: The Year-In-Review

General Disclaimer: The writer has used her best efforts in preparation of this information. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered. Neither the publisher nor the writer shall be liable in any way for readers’ efforts to apply, rely or utilize the information or recommendations presented herein as they may not be suitable for you or necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.