Thanks… I think
Pastor Tenny - November 23, 2020
Thanks… I think
By Pastor Tenny
Does your Thanksgiving prayer sound something like this?
This has been a tough year.
I’m tired. I’m struggling. I’m feeling sad.
So much has happened in my family and in the world. It’s been hard, God.
How can I give thanks, when I can’t even be around my family on Thanksgiving?
Where are you, God?”
We are not the first of God’s people to struggle and suffer. Oh, I know being reminded of that may not make our current struggles any easier. But, remember that each time God’s people struggle and suffer, God is there, walking with them through the journey.
- God is with His people as they are enslaved in Egypt and as they wander for 40 years
- God is with Job as he suffers incredible loss
- God is with David as he approaches a giant
- God surrounds Elisha with an army of angels and chariots to protect him and his people
The list could go on and on.
These struggles that we face, these difficult journeys, often cause us to turn inward, centering on our challenges and our grief. These difficult journeys also give us an opportunity to pause, to think about what is important in our lives. We talk with God. We question God. We may even wonder where God is in all we’re going through.
Remember, Jesus’ words to us at the end of the Gospel of Matthew: “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). We are not alone. We do not struggle alone. God is walking with us, whatever our journey.
Sometimes we can’t see God’s love, God’s light, the comfort He sends, or the good that comes from difficulty…until we are beyond the struggles and can look back. So, I would invite you to begin looking back, now, even while we are in the midst of a battle with a virus that is rocking the world.
Look back in your life to see the joys for which you can give thanks:
- That school teacher who saw something special in you and encouraged you
- That neighbor who mowed your grass because you were going through a tough time
- Those friends who sent cards when you needed a word of encouragement
- That person who brought you a meal or groceries to help you through your struggle
- That boss who gave you an opportunity
- That phone call from a friend that comes at just the right time
- The rainbow that appears just when you need some hope
- The favorite pet that curls up on your lap, even when you’re angry
This Thanksgiving, may we see the joys that God sends, and may we feel His presence right beside us.
This Thanksgiving is going to be different.
Help me look for joy in the midst of struggle and look for you walking with me. Help me see the blessings that you provide. And help me, even in difficult times like these…to offer You my prayer of thanks.
And, Lord, help me remember…always…that you are with me, in good times and in bad, to the end of the age. Amen.”
I pray that this Thanksgiving will be filled with reminders of God’s love for you.
In His peace,