"Maria," called Dad, "your aunt and uncle will be here soon. Can you come down and help with dinner?"
Maria sighed and tossed the book she was reading on the floor. The last thing she wanted to do was help with Thanksgiving dinner. It was their first Thanksgiving without Mom, and it wouldn't be the same, no matter how much food they cooked.
Maria shuffled into the kitchen and watched Dad pull the turkey out of the oven. When he saw Maria, he smiled.
"Want to help me carve the turkey?" he asked.
"I guess," Maria muttered.
She began slicing the turkey, but the knife wouldn't go all the way through. "Dad, this isn't cutting right, it's--it's frozen!" Dad picked up the knife and tried to make a cut, but it wouldn't go any deeper than a few inches. The middle was still frozen solid.
"Oh no!" groaned Dad. "I must not have let it thaw long enough."
"Why are we even trying to cook a turkey anyway?" bellowed Maria. "Mom's gone, and it won't be the same. I don't care if the whole family is coming, I don't want Thanksgiving!"
Maria ran to her room and collapsed onto the bed, sobbing into her pillow. A few minutes later Dad came in and sat down.
"Maria, I know it's been hard for you since Mom died. When something like that happens, it can take a long time for the sadness and anger to go away. It's okay to feel those things, but if we hang on to them and refuse to let go, our hearts can become cold and hard. Just like that turkey." Dad gently brushed a tear off the side of Maria's face. "It needed more time to thaw than I realized, but if I'd just left it in the freezer, it never would have thawed at all. Right now your heart needs to thaw, and the best way to help it along is to be with your family and thank God for everything He's given you, even if it's hard right now."
Maria lifted her head from the pillow and wiped her eyes. "Okay, Dad," she said. "I'll come to Thanksgiving." She grinned. "But we'd better hurry and order some takeout." --Courtney Lasater
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Have you experienced something that’s caused you a lot of anger and sadness? Maybe your parents divorced or a friend hurt you. Feeling angry and sad is normal, and you should let an adult know how you feel so they can help. But letting those feelings take control of your life can hurt you even more. God knows how you feel, and He wants to help you through it.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Psalm 55:22 (KJV)
Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you.
*Verse displayed is NKJV