With A Thankful Heart

I want to say “Happy Thanksgiving” this weekend, but happy doesn’t seem respectful or appropriate taking in the temperature of the world as we know it. This year, many are mourning losses. Big losses. And I mourn with you. Loss of jobs. Loss of freedom to socialize without masks or mandates. Loss of meaning amidst new norms and confusing internet information. Then there’s the loss of one’s health. A once vibrant immune system now struggles to navigate the simplest of tasks, challenged from breath to breath. Daily activities are tainted with exhaustion; and, if self-preservation isn’t enough, many have added the loss of loved ones—wishing with every fiber of their being for just one more moment to hold a hand, touch a face, or say “I love you” in person. Yep. This is anything but a happy occasion, but God didn’t tell us to be thankful only on the sunny days. He actually tells us to, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬ And remember, “…you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.” 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬ So, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I may not have the perfect words to deliver this year’s greeting, but I am going to encourage you to find the blessings in the hard times: food on the table; the smile of a stranger behind the mask at the supermarket; a text message from a friend checking up on you; having what you need, even if it’s not everything you want; finding gratitude for this breath, and the next one, and the one after that. Remember: God still has purpose for your life. My prayer is that you will find peace in knowing He will see you through whatever lies down the road, taking comfort in the knowledge that if you surrender to His purpose, He will help you forgive the hurts of those who have wronged you, give you strength for the unknowns, and appreciate the beauty in the details of what remains. Many continued blessings, my friends, during this holiday season and the year ahead. May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding protect you in your journey Home! (Philippians 4:6)

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