“What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?”
Ever since I read this quote it has returned to my mind from time to time. I believe it is worthy of repeated reflection and a useful prompt for those of us who are privileged yet often blinded by the overabundance we live in everyday. Those who first celebrated Thanksgiving did so in a very different circumstance and mindset from those of us today. What can we learn from reflecting on what they would have been thankful for. And what can we learn from Whom they were thankful to. Our world may have changed dramatically from those by-gone days but there is an underlying truth in the celebration of Thanksgiving that we would be wise to search for, a truth that transcends time or place, culture or tradition. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Where we are in history may mean that we experience this truth through a different lens than those who went before us but the principle remains – God is unchanging and His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22,23). So whether we find ourselves in plenty or in want, in peace or in turmoil, in health or struggling with sickness, with family or alone, I pray we are prompted and stirred in our spirits to look to Him. God has given us breath and He is not without purpose. If you are alive today it is because it gives Him pleasure (Acts 17:28) and if you let Him, He will show you a purpose for your life beyond anything you can imagine. If your circumstances and life are not what you want them to be, if you are struggling and even if you are barely hanging on, in Christ there is hope. The Bible tells us He rises to show us compassion (Isaiah 30:18). Ask Him to make His compassion visible to you today. Ask Him to give you peace in the midst of the storm. Ask Him for perseverance to walk through one more day. Give Him permission to come in and change you in your circumstances. Throughout history humans have endured and persevered and we have many testimonies of those who not only endured and persevered but who overcame because God met them in their need. It is not the dark hour that defines us but our God who brings light into our darkness, a light that the darkness is not able to overcome (John 1:5). So I thank God for His light in my life. I thank Him for how His light pierced even my darkest hours and days. I thank Him that He gave me the strength to follow His light from darkness to life. He is my Rescuer, my strong tower, my shelter. I want to thank Him and praise Him everyday and especially on this Thanksgiving weekend. I pray that every heart would be open to His light shining hope and redemption into a world that has been darkened by the false promise of things and wealth that does not last. May we stop and allow God to show us how to be truly thankful for the things that endure: faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
May you and your family be blessed this Thanksgiving.