Thanksgiving: an annual holiday meant to serve as a day of gratitude, a reminder to count blessings and show our appreciation for them. I only need to look as far as the faces of my wife and grown children to see how blessed I am. I hope you can find similar solace in someone(s) you love, and in something about your daily situation, while recognizing it’s not necessarily easy.
Many of our friends and family members have had hard times this year—seemingly more than usual. I think of those who have endured natural, criminal and suicidal deaths of loved ones, chronic physical or mental illness of self or a family member, severe acute sickness or injury, shattered relationships, financial hardship, job loss, homelessness or a looming threat thereof, or simply trying to raise kids and get by in a world that seems to be getting more insane by the year.
Right off the top of my head, I can sit here for just half a minute and think of 20, 30 or more people I know who have been dealing with just those kinds of problems, and others too. Their (your) faces flash before me like a newsreel of tough times. If this speaks to you, know you’re not alone, and that you are the subject of prayers for overcoming, that your story can invert from troubled to triumphant. It won’t be easy, and it could take awhile…but with the Lord, all good is possible.
In times like these, it can be hard to find things for which to be grateful. Life itself, something we too often take for granted, and something for which we should be thankful, may seem fruitless or pointless at times. Know you’ve got other people and a Lord who care, even if you don’t hear that enough.
Thanksgiving is about far more than turkeys, messy kitchens, gatherings around big tables, football, and that loudmouthed activist in the family ranting about politics at dinner. Cutting through all that, it’s about thankfulness. Whether your day will be full of relatives or a party of one, think of those people, pets, memories, and comforting items for which you’re grateful. Hold to those, cherish them, and offer thanks for the true friends and loved ones in your life, whether bountiful or few. There are some, I promise.
Moreover, take a minute to tell and show them your gratitude. Doing so only costs that little bit of time, and it pays off a hundredfold in good will and appreciation.
If you’re reading this, know that regardless of your profession, avocations, politics, or worldview, I appreciate you in some way or another, whether or not I have said so individually. You are a child of God, loved and valued despite all your flaws, just as I am, despite all mine. It’s difficult to keep that in mind sometimes, especially as hard as we can be on ourselves. But it’s true.
Thank you for reading, for understanding, and for being here. Happy Thanksgiving!