Do you ever find it hard to be thankful?
I do, sometimes. And judging from a chat with someone else today, I’m not alone.
I’m not thinking of the struggle to give thanks in difficult circumstances, though I’ve certainly experienced that before. Right now, though, I have much for which to be thankful—loving relationships in my life, many blessings from the Lord.
But when there is so much heartache in our own country and around the world, how can we celebrate and give thanks?
Sometimes I even wonder how to feel about that “First Thanksgiving,” with all I’ve learned about the havoc the coming of European settlers wrought on the indigenous inhabitants of this land. And yet, it does seem that harvest feast nearly 400 years ago was one in which the two different peoples came together in peace and mutual celebration, as I watched in this “Virtual Field Trip” of Plimoth Plantation last week.
And for that historical snippet of oneness and goodwill, I am thankful.
At our house, this year will gather round our table family long-time and new, friends from different places and even sides of the world, and we will miss those who are absent and be grateful for those who are here. And I am thankful.
This year the Lord has brought a man into my life to love, and amid our trying to figure out how to integrate and balance each other’s families this holiday season and how to better know and love each other even when it gets messy, I am thankful.
This year there is much that is imperfect in our world and that weighs my heart heavy, from the turmoil and heartache in Ferguson to those suffering under ISIS to a dear friend seriously ill in the hospital. And yet, because of our God, I’m learning we can still be thankful.
Things don’t have to be perfect—or even less than hard—for us to see His goodness. For us to love one another, and turn our hearts toward thanksgiving…
“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
Those reasons to give thanks have been true for millennia of God’s people, through centuries of wars and tumult and pain. And still for us today. The Lord is good. And His lovingkindness endures forever. Those have never changed or gone away, thanks be to God. And they never will.
What are you thankful for amid the imperfect right now? Please comment and share, if you like.
And Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂