Chelsea and I are currently in California, taking a few days of vacation surrounding Thanksgiving. We spent a couple of days in northern California, visiting my grandparents, and we are now in the Napa Valley area, visiting Chelsea's family. Most of our visit here has been quite smokey. There has been a constant haze with limited visibility, and our lungs burn after awhile due to the constant irritation caused by the smoke. Today it started raining, which has helped alleviate the smoke smell, but it has been a constant reminder that, just a few miles away, many people have lost everything due to the Camp Fire. There have been 18,421 structures burned, including over 13,500 homes. There have also been 81 confirmed deaths so far. With Thanksgiving approaching, it seems that those who have lost everything have nothing to be thankful for.

Hannah was the first wife of Elkanah, a Levite who was no longer needed at the tabernacle due to corruption and politics surrounding the worship services. She discovered that she could not have children, however, which caused Elkanah to marry another woman, so he could carry on his family name. Being barren was a fate worse than death, and Hannah cried out to the Lord, asking Him to give her a son. He finally did, and as she held the baby Samuel in her arms, she exclaimed, "For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him" (1 Samuel 1:27). In her darkest days, she was reminded that God is a God who hears and answers prayer. I'm not sure what you're going through or how dark your days have gotten, but don't give up! God hears and answers your prayers, and that's something to be thankful for.

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