By Ojudo Mendis (Artist)
“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving”
Thanksgiving is a festive season which includes hopes for a warm and joyous time of the year. However, for many others, this season is colored with melancholy, fear, or depression. Undoubtedly, people with serious anxiety disorders or profound depression benefit the most from professional assistance. We must ask ourselves about individuals who simply experience these emotions at this time of year? One part of the Thanksgiving season, which is ingrained in the celebration itself—being grateful—seems to be able to truly elevate the spirits, according to study (and good judgement).
With thanksgiving fast approaching, it is essential that we remember the message of gratitude. Which is exactly why “Platanides: Through the Eye of The Storm” is the perfect book for this season.
This true story authored by Bill Planes, chronicles the story of his father, Panayiotis Platanides, and the events in his life and upbringing that influenced his faith in Christ.
It chronicles his father’s sufferings, as well as the suffering endured by his father’s family, during the persecution of the Greek and Armenian Christians by Kamel Ataturk. It is appropriately dedicated to his parents who, with the aid of God and their firm faith, worked assiduously to offer him a better life than the one they were dealt with. They taught him the teachings and beliefs of the Greek Orthodox faith and raised him to be a Christian who lives his life in the way of the Lord.
Let’s put history and ancestry to the side and concentrate on the book’s key points. It teaches us the value of having faith in difficult circumstances and the necessity of emulating the ways of Christ. While there are many lessons to be learned from this amazing book, some parts stand out more than others. Be ready to be touched by the focus placed on individual aspects that support our faith, including prayer, giving thanks, serving others, demonstrating an undoubting faith in Christ, and a lot more. The book is filled with instances that help remind us of our blessings that flow from God. But perhaps, the most important message of all present in the book, especially in light of Thanksgiving this month, is the message of gratitude and thanksgiving itself.
In one of the instances mentioned in the book, we see Panayiotis express the importance of thanksgiving through his actions.
“Panayiotis visited Pantelis at his
Barbershop and Pantelis gave his brother a
Haircut and a shave.
These were small
Moments, small acts, but to these siblings who
Had been denied these small moments and
Acts over four decades, each was precious and
Was received with prayers of thanks to our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to the Holy
Mother, the Theotokos.”
Do we ever pause to consider all the small blessings we have despite the fact that as people of faith we trust God to protect us and keep us safe in his ever-present love? It’s likely that reading this paragraph may make you cry and inspire you to make a personal point to give thanks for even the little things. We experience miracles on a daily basis because God is a God of miracles. We too must be grateful for the simple things, just like Panayiotis and his siblings were.
“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
2 Corinthians 9:11
Having gratitude means appreciating what you have, whether that’s something material or something spiritual. People recognize the positive in their lives with appreciation. People usually realize that the origin of that kindness is at least largely external to themselves during this process. Because of this, feeling grateful also fosters a connection with something bigger than oneself, such as other people, the natural world, or a greater power.
By practicing gratitude, the faithful can understand how to appreciate what they already have rather than always seeking out more things in the hopes that they will improve their lives or believing that they won’t be content until all of their monetary and bodily needs have been addressed. Refocusing on what they possess rather than what they need is aided by gratitude. And even though it might seem fabricated at first, this state of mind increases gradually with use and repetition.
Christian families frequently yield to the lure to celebrate Thanksgiving without placing God at the center. The importance of being generally grateful for everything in this life is frequently overstated. Children are taught to cherish what they have been given and to be grateful, but to who are they truly grateful? They might give thanks for life, this planet, environment, good, and other things instead of giving thanks to God.
This November, be sure to emphasize how important it is to thank God. Help children realize that food is a gift from God Almighty rather than just something that comes from shops, manufacturers, or even the planet. Discuss how God always provides. Point out how many meals we consume each day, the variety of foods that God gives, and how dependable He is.
These lessons are just one of many that the book imparts to us and stick with you well after you flip the last page. Anyone wishing to rediscover their faith should definitely read this book because of the beneficial effects it is certain to have on readers and the way it helps them reaffirm their beliefs. It is unquestionably a magnificent piece of work that will touch many lives.