Thanksgiving—a time for family, turkey, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, and football. (Go Cowboys!) A day set aside to reflect on all the many blessings we have to be thankful for. Unless, like me, you may have been feeling a little blue lately.
With the war raging around us, it’s been a challenge to find the positive attitude many have going into this season. It’s been a bit of a stretch to find things I can intentionally recognize as blessings to be thankful for, because it surely feels like the bad is out weighing the good. How can we go into a season of thanksgiving as our guys and gals are under attack? How can we look for the good when the clouds of negativity loom overhead? When circumstances are less than ideal and well beyond our control?
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:12-13 NIV).
We have to be intentional. We have to fight the urge to focus on the negative, and instead look for the good, because it’s there. Like a new flower bud about to bloom, there are still so many things to be thankful for. And we need to put our hope in something, or rather Someone, who isn’t unchangeable or unshakeable.
I will be the first to admit, I’m easily sucked into becoming a product of my circumstances, easily forgetting to take time to be intentionally grateful. But knowing this means I will fight all the more to combat the negative things in this world. If I allow my happiness to be found in the things around me, I will continuously find myself disappointed, since circumstances change. Cars break down. Houses get messy. People are unpredictable. But Jesus… Jesus never changes. Just like the more we feed our fears, they grow stronger. But the more we feed our faith and take the time to thank God for who He is and all that we do have to be thankful for, it leaves no room for the things of the outside world to crowd out the good. Which side are you feeding?
So today, whether family and food, or electronic equipment inside a cruiser surrounds you, find something you are truly grateful for! It could be something simple like a warm cup of coffee on a cold morning, breath in your lungs, eyes to see the beauty past the troubles on the street, or something greater like knowing the way God delivered you from a dangerous situation. Find one thing you can thank God for today. And then find another one thing tomorrow. And continue to repeat. We can learn to make every day thanksgiving. Just maybe without the extra few pounds the holiday usually brings! *wink*
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation” (Psalms 100:4-5 NLT).