In the U.S., we have one week until Thanksgiving. I won’t be posting on the day itself as I normally would on a Thursday, so I wanted to share some thoughts on it now. Something to help us all get our minds contemplating the purpose as we move into Thanksgiving week.

It’s been a difficult year. Global pandemics, economic shutdowns, murder hornets, wildfires, hurricane after hurricane…the list goes on. And for my family, we have that diagnosis too. It’s been a year of trials and challenges. A year of uncertainty. A year where a lot has gone wrong for a lot of people.

We know that we’re told to be thankful in all things, to rejoice in our trials…but how do we do that? Really do that?

Many years ago I was editing a book called Guard Your Heart by Audrey Jose for WhiteFire, and she had a line in there that has really stuck with me. She says, “Don’t just pray that God will solve problems or take away difficulties. Pray that God will reveal Himself IN the difficulties.” Ask Him to show you His perspective. As this thought has burrowed deep into my heart over the years, it’s linked itself with the idea of gratitude and thanksgiving.

How can we be grateful for the trials?
Because God is there, and He shows Himself strong in our weakness.

How can we be thankful in every circumstance?
Because we’re filled with His Spirit, and the dark times are when He can shine through.

Thanksgiving is not about abundance–it’s about recognizing a faithful God who brings us through each fire, each plague, each drought, each storm so that we can serve Him one more day or month or year…or else gather us home. Thanksgiving is not about a turkey or a big family meal or a football game–it’s about pausing to reflect on the One who has given every morsel that we taste, who calls us His own.

This year has asked a lot of us, has taken a lot, has given things we didn’t necessarily want. But it’s also been a time to reconnect, to slow down, to examine. It’s been a time to refocus on what really matters.

We’re certainly not the first generation to have gone through a trying year. We’re not to first to wonder at what could possibly come next. We’re not the first to just want things to get better, for this trial to be over already. This is a part of humanity’s story that’s told over and again, in one form or another.

Let’s be remembered as being one of the faithful generations that remembered to praise Him through it. To praise Him because of it. Because through our difficulties, He proves Himself faithful. Through our pain, He shows His love. Through our hardship, His arm becomes all the more familiar as it encircles us.

What are you thankful for this year that is different from years past, directly related to a unique hardship of 2020? How can you praise Him through the trials, not just despite them?


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