"I am SO bored! I'm sick of being in this house!"
This was the lament of my daughter a few months ago. She had come home from college for spring break in March and never got to go back. She finished out her sophomore year online and was waiting to hear if she would be going back to campus this fall.
I'm sure many of you heard, or even said, these words many times this year.
2020 sure didn't pan out the way we'd planned, did it?
So much fear and angst.
So much sadness and depression.
So much anxiety and despair.
So much anger and fury.
So much hatred and ugliness.
The year of perfect vision turned out to be a nightmare.
But here we are in November, the month we traditionally give thanks.
Being thankful may be difficult for many this year.
Some are sitting at a table with an empty chair. Others are wondering if there will be enough food to put on the table. Still others are so overcome with fear they can't fathom even going to the table.
Looking at the circumstances that have shaped this year can turn the best optimist into a pessimist. Hard circumstances often steal our joy. Difficult situations turn thankfulness into murmuring.
So why should we be shouting our thanks instead of whining our discontent?
Here are just three reasons I'm being thankful this year.
First and foremost, as a child of God being thankful is His will for me.
"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who are in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT
Notice Paul didn't say "Be thankful when life is good." Or, "Be thankful when you can go in public without wearing a mask." Or, "Be thankful when others are kind to you."
He said "Be thankful in ALL circumstances."
This kind of thankfulness is not easy.
I don't feel like being thankful when I'm going through a hard time, or when I have to put on a mask before entering the grocery store, or when people are unkind to me. And I'll be honest, many times I am not thankful. Many times I grumble and complain. I whine. I fuss. I get angry. That's when I need to stop and pray:
Spirit, help me be thankful even in this situation."
Because it is God's will for me to be thankful no matter what.
The second reason I am being thankful is because I know God's love for me endures forever.
"Thank God! He deserves your thanks. His love never quits. Thank the God of all gods, His love never quits. Thank the Lord of all lords. His love never quits." Psalm 136:1-3 MSG
Even if we're in a pandemic. God's love never quits.
Even if I have to wear a mask in public for the rest of my life, God's love never quits.
Even if others treat me badly. God's love never quits.
God's love for me and for you endures forever. He never quits loving us, even when we have been unloveable. That's something to be thankful for!
And finally, I'm being thankful because I know I have victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ.
"It is sin that gives death its sting and the law gives sin its power. But we thank God for giving us the victory as conquerors through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One."
1 Corinthians 15:56-57 TPT
This world is full of temptation and sin and death.
God gives us victory over these things when we ask Jesus into our hearts.
The Spirit infuses us with power to overcome when we submit to His lordship over our lives. I don't know about you, but victory sounds pretty good to me right now!
Gathered manna: When Jesus is Lord of our lives we can be thankful in all circumstances because we know God's love for us never quits.
What about you? What reasons do you have to be thankful? Leave a comment or send me an email sharing your reasons! Let's encourage each other toward thankfulness for the rest of this less than perfect year!
Until next time, keep gathering manna, growing deeper, and gaining intimacy.
God bless and keep you,