Thanksgiving holiday in the United States this year has me wondering what I am thankful for this year. The littlest things keep popping into my head along with the disasters this year brought us. It appears the leaders of the world have set themselves up to ‘provide’ for us. They talk of providing food, safety, vacations, health, and retirements. Yet, we cannot guarantee these things if life. Many of us around the world are ready to step away from “security” and into life.
“20Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” [Ephesians 5:20-21*]
The Apostle Paul does not say give thanks only for the important stuff or the big items, or even the items that make a tremendous difference in your life. He states “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” There is a word I tend to overlook, the word ‘all’ as in “All things.” Such a little word. Only three letters. It is easy to skip right by it when reading through the text quickly. It has big meaning though, this word ‘all’ per my dictionary means: “The total entity or extent of… Every… each and everyone1”
To me, the world seems focused on things too big for me to solve. Things way out of my scope of control. The overwhelming problems force me to look for something good, something beautiful, and something peaceful.
We are to be thankful for the big things and miracles God has brought into our lives. Since January 2020, when the world went awry, we all have had losses, but find I am thankful for what He has provided. He has lifted the veils from my eyes. I find truth and wisdom are more easily if I look for it. And I find peace and solace with my Lord.
Don’t think I don’t know what is going on around us. You may wonder, how can she be thankful when people are dying all around us? Governments are becoming oppressors… Again. Those that take pleasure in destroying hide under the cover of the First Amendment. Those who make the rules don’t follow the rules. Then the judges are lazy or fearful in their verdicts. Corruption runs deep in all segments of our society. We see the innocent persecuted by a cumbersome legal system. They mock the faithful or do worse to believers. They lie to their people and punish them continually. Terror reigns under a so-called order.
Actually, I have a hard time being thankful right now. My soul screams WHY? And I do not understand! Depression beckons me to absorb myself in dark solitude. It seems so peaceful, so quiet. It is a temptation to wallow in the mud bath of my pity. I’ve been at the bottom of that pit before. I have undertaken the arduous climb out of depression. At the time, I made the choice to survive. It takes tremendous work to pull oneself out of the pit that our world, calls depression. I still chose to survive.
It was the hardest fifteen years of my life. But the work was worth it to live again. Now I stand at the precipice staring down at another quiet hole. From the surface, it looks like a good place to hide while the world rages. It looks safe, but it is not. Standing on the brink, it doesn’t look that far down. But it really is, and I know that as a fact. I know if I step off, I will fall and fall and fall, until I am in a crumpled, hurting heap at the bottom.
I also know God has put me here in this time and place for a reason I do not understand. The call to return the remnant to God is strong in my heart. And still I have trouble giving thanks for this time in history. So what do I do? Choose the pit or to live? That is my choice.
This year I look for relief from the never ending bad news. by finding the peace in life’s little things. The soothing feel of water sliding down my parched throat quenching my thirst. God’s presence when I pray. A joy filled smile from a stranger on the street. Just a simple walk with my husband. Sunshine in the morning after the rainy day before. A cool breeze. A seedling pushing aside the soil as if to say “Hello World!” These are a few of the things that have brought smiles to my face in the last few days. And thank my Lord for these things bringing beauty and solace in a world gone mad.
“Giving thanks always for all things” reminds me that this time in history is all part of His plan. While others push me away because of my views or choices, God hasn’t left me behind. He provides another way for me to express my love. If I am excluded from the world’s games, Jesus has a place for me on His field. When I get lost in the noise, the Holy Spirit guides me to a quiet place. He is there for all of us when we open our heart to His World.
Thanking God for the little things has made the choice for me. It is not an easy road to choose. For I choose to live. And if I choose to live fully, I find I am thankful.
Please pray with me,
Lord, thank you for your loving kindness for us during these dark days. I am grateful for all the ways you show us your love. This love is written in your Holy Words, in the beauty and solace woven into Your creation. We need You more than ever right now. Thank You for all the little things that heal our bodies and spirit each day. We are grateful for the miracles we see, feel or hear of that encourage us and strengthen our faith. It is the day by day gifts that keep us moving forward every day with hope. May we daily seek Your will and be thankful for Your daily gifts when we find them. In Jesus’ name, amen. In the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
I am grateful to all of you who read my blog. I am praying for you and that God blesses you mightily today. 24The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: 25The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 26The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. [Numbers 6:24-26*]
Happy Thanksgiving from South Florida!
* All scripture is from the King James Version
1Webster’s II New Collage Dictionary Third Edition