Thanksgiving at the Nursing Home

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Oh yes, Thanksgiving is creeping up on us! I have read a lot of great posts about giving thanks, but people at the Nursing Homes which I visit take on a different viewpoint of the holiday. Very few will get to spend it with their family at a table filled with food. Most will get a few slices of turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy in the dining hall. Their thankfulness isn’t punctuated by football games, and they aren’t making plans to do Black Friday shopping. Instead, most of the thankfulness up and down the halls in long term care is about a table that they will sit at one day with Jesus Christ. They come to our hymn singing times and either join in if they still can or just listen as the Lord lifts up their hearts to Him. Yes, we should be thankful for what we have received, but what lies ahead is so much greater and will last forever. Why not take a moment to close yourself in with God and picture His answer to your prayers before you receive them? Why not give thanks right now for what lies ahead, and then receive His peace which is greater than anything you can understand that can guard your heart and mind in Jesus?

8 thoughts on “Thanksgiving at the Nursing Home

  1. All the trappings – the feast, the football game, etc. – can actually be a distraction from the things we should be most thankful for. It makes me think of Betsie Ten Boom, teaching the Bible to the women in the concentration camp, pointing out that the distractions had been taken away, and they could focus on the Lord. (The fleas she had thanked God for without knowing why, it turned out, were the reason the guards stayed away, and they could have their Bible studies unhindered.)
    Happy Thanksgiving, Pete.

  2. This surely tugs at my heart. I remember the five years I took care of my former neighbor in her assisted living facility. There were so many stories from every person there. I really love what you said about thanking God for what lies ahead and then receiving His peace. Thanking God for the future isn’t something that I regularly do but you have spurred me on to be more diligent to do just that. May you and your dear family have a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving, Pete. All of you are in my prayers.

    • As I have gotten older, I have realized that more and more of my treasure is in Heaven. My friends, family, my good eyesight and of course the one whose face I see a bit more clearly every day. May you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving Patty.

  3. I have met many seniors in nursing homes who have outlived everyone they love but Jesus. I’ve seen the longing for a heavenly home you speak of, Pastor Pete. Thanksgiving is more than a holiday; It’s “thanks living” every day. Thank you for the reminder to picture my prayers answered. Blessings!

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