Cold Turkey - Thank God in Advance

February 19, 2024

It was the Monday before Thanksgiving when Bobby Evans collapsed in a Walmart in Worcester, Massachusetts. Other customers gathered around, and someone quickly called EMS. It did not look good for Bobby, there was blood coming out of his ear, his face looked white, and he was unconscious.

When EMS arrived, the first thing they did was take off Bobby’s hat, and to everyone’s amazement, a partially frozen turkey fell on the floor. Bobby was unconscious from the cold turkey numbing his brain. The blood came from the giblets which had melted and leaked over his hair and down into his ear.

Since it was Thanksgiving, the manager took pity, and rather than prosecuting the shoplifter, gave him the partially thawed bird, and sent Bobby on his way. Two days later the manager got a letter from Bobby apologizing for his behavior and thanking the manager for his kindness. Also, inside the envelope was $15, the price of his turkey.

Perhaps you are wondering why I am telling a Thanksgiving story in February? It is only nine months until Thanksgiving and we need to be reminded to be thankful in advance. Being thankful is such an important life attitude that I figured we can’t be reminded enough (Plus, I just found this story and I was afraid I would lose it over the course of the next nine months!).

I was also thinking about John the Apostle on the Island of Patmos. That is where the Romans sent political prisoners to mine ore for the empire until they died. It was a brutal way to die. Why didn’t the Romans just torture and kill John like they had done to all the other disciples. No one knows for sure but it was probably because, after killing the other disciples, the church exploded in great numbers, and so they reasoned, instead of killing John, they would let him die on a terrible island while mining ore.

In my mind’s eye, I picture John sitting in his cold damp cave wondering what God was going to do next. Then, a guard shows up with a quill, ink and a scroll and gives it to John. The guard has no idea why, he is just doing as ordered. He is not even sure how the quill, ink and scroll got on the island. John looks at him quizzically until he leaves, and then he hears the voice of Jesus, “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1-2).

What follows is the revealed word of God about His terrible judgment and the perfect establishment of the New Jerusalem, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. The Book of Revelation is an amazing book that gives us the signs to look for when the final days are upon us. I do not see any of those signs present today but, the stage is certainly set that the signs could begin to be evident.

If you read the Book of Revelation, you will be overwhelmed with God’s power and justice against evil. Though Revelation tends not to speak as profoundly to us in the U.S.A., because we can freely practice our faith, it is my understanding that it speaks loud and clear to persecuted Christians around the world, with its emphatic message to keep the faith no matter what, God wins!!!

John puts the quill to papyrus and writes the final words revealed to him, “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen” (Revelation 22:20-21). Do you think he wondered, “Now what am I going to do with this revelation from God, since I am stuck on this island to die?”

No, I think John probably thanked God in advance for the wonderful miracle that would soon unfold that would allow him to leave the island with his life and share this new revelation with the churches of Ephesus, and with the world.

When was the last time you thanked God in advance? Do you do so regularly? Does God just give reasons to thank Him to apostles like John or does He shower blessings down on all of us? How many blessings can you write down right now? Try it. I challenge you to write down twenty blessings in twenty minutes. Do you consider yourself a thankful person? Are you thankful in “all things” (see I Thessalonians 5:18), or just things that you think are good? (To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles see,