By Ralphine Major

It may be the biggest test of discipline we have seen during this pandemic. At this writing, we are preparing for Thanksgiving, one of our nation’s most popular holidays. Gathering with family and friends for Thanksgiving has been a tradition—when to meet, where to meet, and what dishes to bring. COVID-19 sheds a whole new light on family gatherings and causes second thoughts about whether to meet at all as Americans are being urged not to travel and congregate. But those who do gather for a Thanksgiving meal are urged to eat outside and use plastic utensils. It is a stark reminder of the pilgrims who came to this continent and settled in our great nation later named America. Undoubtedly, they endured many hardships.

While sorting through and purging files during these stay-at-home days of the pandemic, another of my favorite photos surfaced. I used it with my first Thanksgiving column in 2011, the year I began writing for the Focus. The single snapshot brings so much to mind. It was made not long after our father was diagnosed with life-changing heart disease in 1965 at the age of 36. Our mother had the presence of mind to grab her camera and take the picture of my brother and me with our white domestic turkeys on our dairy farm. Though the color has faded somewhat, a closer look shows our school spirit. We were wearing our powder blue Gibbs Eagles sweatshirts! I think of our simple life on the farm during the sixties—and now, in 2020 in the midst of a global coronavirus pandemic. What a drastic difference! Our frugal lifestyle growing up on the dairy farm has certainly helped us weather this pandemic. On the farm, we learned how to live on less. Of course, you did not know what you did not have.

Whatever circumstances we face in life, it is faith that brings us through tough times because the Word of God never changes.

Words of Faith this Thanksgiving season come from Psalm 107:1 (NKJV): “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”