The Thanksgiving long weekend has just ended, and I hope you enjoyed it. I cannot think of another year where we have needed a reminder to be thankful more than this one.
People are tired. They are depressed. They are worn out and, when that happens, it becomes much easier to worry, awfulize and focus on what we think is wrong all around us.
However, the truth is that most of what makes our lives good remains relatively untouched by the odd circumstances of this year. Even in the most difficult times, there are many things for which we can be thankful.
Oftentimes, the scriptures that we know and love the most, were written to, or by, those who were in bad situations. Listen to the apostle Paul as he writes from a Roman prison cell: “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13).
David was facing his enemies and possible death when he wrote, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want” (Psalm 23:1).
The apostle John was in exile on the island of Patmos when he had a vision of heaven. He then assures us that, in the future, “God’s dwelling place [will be] among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).
Jesus, himself, told his scared and uncertain disciples, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20) and he promised to send the comforter and helper, the Holy Spirit, to live with us (John 14).
Therefore, I need to remember to see my real blessings. I need to focus on what makes my life good and worthwhile, both now and eternally. I need to see that, despite the very real problems around us, there are still many more reasons for hope and joy.
Thanksgiving weekend is over, but let’s make sure that our thanksgiving has not ended.