It is November, and our world seems to get darker by the day. Sunny days are few and far between. There is a leak in our roof. Our car needs new brakes. A friend has let us down. Politicians continue to disappoint. Refugees despair as doors close. An airliner crashes killing hundreds on board. ISIS marches on. GI Joe was not the hero we thought he was. Promises have been broken. Trust has been betrayed. Relationships have failed.
It is November, and in a few days, we are somehow, someway supposed to gather around a table and a turkey and be grateful.
And this year, for the very first time, there will be an empty chair or two around that table. There will be sorrow, and there will be grief around that table. This year, there will be despair around that table.
During a famine, a widow once told Elijah: “I only have a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am going to prepare one last meal and gather around the table one last time with my family. And then we will die” (1 Kings 17).
Elijah responded: “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: the jar will not be emptied, and the jug will not fail.” And Elijah was right. The widow and her family were able to eat from that jar and that jug around that table for many days and endure the famine.
This is how we can gather around a table and a turkey and be grateful this November. Because despite the dark and damp days, despite the closed doors and the shattered dreams, despite the sorrow and the grief, God promises that our jars will not be emptied and our jugs will not fail. God promises that hope will never disappoint us, for God’s love for us never ends.
The good news is that with the help of God we will endure these dark days of November until hope springs eternal.