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26 I have no peace, no quietness. I have no rest; only trouble comes.”

Job 3:26 (NLT)

Yesterday I received a call from a woman who asked me if the fly infestation she is experiencing is an act of God punishing her. She felt that a lifetime of pain and suffering, where she has outlived her husband and two children, where she has been shunned and shamed, has made mistakes and suffered untold consequences, been blamed and embarrassed...and now all of these things that she feels guilty this the result of God's "torture and judgment."

When you consider the pain this woman is talking about, flea bites, it reminded me of the Plagues of the Old Testament. The fact that she has outlived her family and is left alone during the holidays tears at my heart . I compare her pain with the words from Job (above) where "only trouble comes." For many, the holidays are a terrible reminder of family gatherings where they are not invited. Where the focus in not inclusion but shame and rejection, isolation and hate.

As you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, try to think of the ones who have no one, who are waiting for a call, a card, or an invitation to share with family and friends. If you are holding back love from someone who has hurt you, lift them up in prayer and send forgiveness their way. The anger, resentment, and shame you feel is only released by giving love, compassion, and empathy for the one who hurt you. Otherwise, it will steal your joy and the joy of others around you.

God Bless you during this day for Thanks "giving"...and receiving.

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