As the month of November arrives, our heart and minds turn to Thanksgiving. With all that has happened in our lives in 2020, it is far easier to complain than to be thankful. I think God understands our human tendency to grumble. It is why He so often tell us in Scripture to remember who He is and what He is done. God desires us to see our circumstance through His eyes, but we often flip that around and see Him through our circumstances, causing us to have a distorted view of who He is.
I have frequently hear people saying, “I am just ready for this year to be over.” I get that. It has not been an easy year for any of us. There are many things that happened this year that I don’t ever want to relive. It feels like in some ways we are all just holding our breath, hoping this all gets better soon. It is easy for the painful things of this year to drown out the many things we have to be thankful for. When that happens we lose hope, and despair creeps into our hearts and minds. The weight of our circumstances makes God feel distant and uncaring.
That is why thanksgiving is so important. It helps us to see Him for who He truly is. Good, kind, faithful, always on time even if it feels slow, powerful, and present. Remembering what God has done for us fosters a heart of thankfulness and helps us to trust His faithfulness for the future. It helps us keep our heart alive.
As you read this email, take a moment to reflect on 2020. What are you grateful for this year? How has God shown Himself to you this year? Remember every person and thing you are grateful for. It might help to write a list of gratitude.
Now turn those answers into a time of thanksgiving and praise. Each person’s list will look different. Here the beginning of our family’s list this year.
Father, from whom every family on earth is named, we give thanks
for time together as a family
for the rock of strength that prayer is for us
for faithful friends who encourage us by praying for our family
for seeing Your hand of grace at work in our lives as we experience a difficult year
for Your consistency in a world that feels so unsettled
for Your plan for our lives
for weaknesses through which You show Yourself strong in us
for wisdom and guidance in difficult circumstances
for strength for daily demands of job and family
for hope, peace, victory, satisfaction, and fulfillment found in You
for spiritual strength in spiritual battles
for Your patience in the testing, struggles, and refining that we grow through
for Jesus’ sufficiency for today’s grace
for forgiveness received and forgiveness extended
for hearts of obedience that trust that “the moon is round”
for our continuing love relationship with You through Jesus
for more than we could ever deserve.
Regardless of what you are facing, may you be blessed with eyes that can truly see
and a heart that can receive all the love that God has for you.