Yea - Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I love Thanksgiving! Yes, the food is awesome. Yes, the time with family is great. Yes, love the football. Everything about Thanksgiving is wonderful. I even truly enjoy all the preparations - making sure the house looks nice, ensuring all the food prep is done properly, getting up early to put the turkey in the oven - each and every moment makes me happy.
The most important part of Thanksgiving for me, though, is when we all sit down and say grace. It is such a perfect time for all of us to review what we are thankful for. As we go around the table, it gives each of us a moment to reflect all the blessings our Dear Lord granted to us. Many times we share our thanks for good health. It could be we are thankful for something we got new - a car, a job, etc. Sometimes we are grateful for good things at work or at school. We share nice times when we were all together as a family. Typically, even when good things happen right away, we stop and give thanks.
What happens when things aren't so great? Maybe we lost our job. Maybe we have poor health. Maybe we lost our home, or a relationship, or a pet. Nothing of those times make us feel thankful. Yet, as in our Bible verse for today, we are told to be thankful in ALL circumstances - not just the good but even the not-so-good circumstances. How can one find thankfulness when things go wrong?
Let's dive in a little deeper on this. God takes us on journeys that sometimes we don't understand. When difficult things happen, jumping for joy and giving praise and thanks is not exactly our first "go to". I'm not sure about you, but I know that I have typically responded with complaining, self-pity, and general nastiness! So why should we give thanks?
Certainly, to start, God asks us to! As we see above, God asks us to give thanks in all situations. Maybe if we responded in such a manner, we would look at the situation from a less "negative" viewpoint to a positive one. Maybe, just maybe, we will be able to see our situation from a different perspective - one that helps us to see more than the "bad", but also the possibilities in these difficult times. Most importantly, we can use these circumstances to rely on our heavenly Father for help, assistance and guidance. Let's be thankful that we have a gracious Father that we can turn to, all the time, every time, when life sends us trials.
As we sit down at our Thanksgiving tables in a few days, may we find thanks in the difficult situations and remember that all of our thanks can be given to the One that gives us everything - our Dear Lord.
"Dearest Lord, THANK YOU for ALL of our circumstances. We are certainly very thankful for all the noticeable blessings in our life. Help us to be thankful for the trials in our life as well. Open our eyes to see the good in the difficult times - especially the goodness of turning to you for help. May our prayers and praise be heard by you in all circumstances. Amen."
P.S. - Hard to believe Advent begins soon. My Advent series this year will focus on the three kings (or wise men). We will end the series with the greatest king of all!!