This Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving will be different. Tables will be smaller. Too many gatherings will be missing an individual who is struggling with Covid, or worse. Many people will be alone on a day on which they would much rather be with family and friends.

Will we still be thankful? Yes, I think we will. In fact, we may be less distracted by shopping, greeting guests and preparing a classic dinner so that we have time to appreciate all of the gifts we have been given.

I’m thankful for…

The love, grace and mercy of God and salvation through his Son, Jesus. That is something for which I don’t give thanks in the rush of Thanksgiving dinner preparation. Ultimately, even if I don’t have anything else to thank God for, this one alone is worth it all.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:29

All of the wonderful people God has placed in my life. My husband, children, their spouses and children, a large and loving extended family, long time faithful friends and new friends, and all kinds of acquaintances. Each one is a blessing, and I’m very thankful.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. I John 4:11

The gift of prayer. Prayer is a conversation with the creator and ruler of the universe, and he wants us to chat with him. Think about that. It’s amazing. Minor prayers and not-so-minor prayers are all heard by God and answered according to his purpose. Some prayers are not answered the way we would like them to be, but I’m learning that God knows what he’s doing. God is not always interested in the things that we think are so very important. He knows that our relationship with him is most important.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Transformation and spiritual growth. At this stage in life I can look back and see genuine spiritual growth in myself. I did not transform myself – not by a long shot – and God is still transforming me. He knows me, he works in and through me, and he knows what it will take to wake me up to the next area that needs attention. There’s always something else.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

The strength, energy, knowledge, wisdom and laughter that God has given me. I don’t always feel strong, knowledgeable or like laughing, in fact it’s more likely that I doubt myself or feel insecure, but when I ask God to give me energy and wisdom, he does and I know it’s a gift. I try not to take it for granted.

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. I Corinthians 1:27

Everything I need. God has given me good food, clothes and the ever important shoes, a comfortable home, a computer and Wi-Fi which has become a necessity – and more. God is astonishingly generous. We could get by with a lot less, but God supplies for all of our needs and many of our wants. I sometimes forget to remind myself of that truth when I begin to wonder or worry.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:25-26

Hope. I’m thankful for the confident hope of a glorious future.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:18-19

This Thanksgiving you may be hoping that a vaccine is available soon, that we can be done with social distance and masks, and that Covid will soon be in the rear view mirror. I hope for that too, but there is a hope that goes far beyond the next year or two. I can’t imagine what eternity with Jesus will be like, but I have confident hope that I will one day know and that it will be awesome.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? What do you hope for?

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

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