Thankful for the little things

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 24, 2021

In “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” our hero Charlie Brown, as ever, is a bit down. His friends have invited themselves over for Thanksgiving dinner, he doesn’t know what to prepare, and he doesn’t believe he has the time due to other commitments.

Not to give away any spoilers, but in the end, Charlie Brown and his friends are together on their way to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, while Snoopy and Woodstock enjoy an intimate meal together at home.

The message: Keep it simple, and be grateful for what matters most, such as being together with those you love.

These small miracles are, I believe, among what the scriptures call “tender mercies.”

“The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” (Psalm 145:9)

These tender mercies can include our homes, families and employment opportunities. For me, living in Virginia, with ready access to hiking and biking trails, is a tender mercy.

As a cancer survivor, I am grateful for my health and for my life.

I am grateful to live in Farmville, where I can serve with great people at places like the FACES food pantry and play with great musicians in the Heart of Virginia Community Band.

Tender mercies can also be very personal and spiritual communications from a loving Heavenly Father to encourage and strengthen His children.

Elder David A. Bednar, an Apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared an experience in which his favorite hymn was played just when he needed an extra boost of confidence and faith.

Elder Bednar taught that these blessings don’t come by chance: “The Lord’s tender mercies do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Faithfulness, obedience, and humility invite tender mercies into our lives, and it is often the Lord’s timing that enables us to recognize and treasure these important blessings.”

Recognizing the tender mercies of the Lord all around us can strengthen us in the midst of life’s trials and help us grow more aware of and attuned to messages from above.

Gratitude for the Lord’s tender mercies, no matter how small they may appear, can open our eyes to the miracles that occur regularly in our lives.

As it increases our faith, gratitude can also give us hope for the future, knowing that God loves and is mindful of each of us.

In latter-day revelation, the Lord promised: “He who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious.”

Elder Bednar taught: “We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord’s tender mercies. The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us in the troubled times in which we do now and will yet live.”

In this season of Thanksgiving, I invite all of us to reflect on and acknowledge the tender mercies of the Lord in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

DR. BRENT ROBERTS is the Elders Quorum President in the Sandy River Branch, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and also Dean of Greenwood Library at Longwood University. He can be reached at brentsroberts@hotmail.com.