Giving Thanks

It’s been a difficult stretch. A significant understatement for some.

Yet, we’re here. At this holiday upon which we are to pause, dwell, gather, eat, pray, contemplate, enjoy and relax. Our national holiday of Thanksgiving.

I’ve lost some people I love during these past couple of years. I’ve been stretched at times beyond what I think I can endure. I’ve been anxious and impatient about the future, one that holds more uncertainty than ever.

Yet, we’re here.

I have also gained. New friends and relationships. New skills and tools, especially with technology. New ways to do things. And a renewed sense of what matters most.

How about you? What have you lost and gained since the pandemic began?

In most situations, we have two outcomes – things work out to our favor, or things that do not. We often dub this as “winning or losing”. The “L” word is the one we dislike. More than ever, I’m replacing that with a new “L” word – “learning”.

Sure, we all love it when we get our way. But when we don’t, are we to waste those times, simply dismiss them until we move onto our next win? Or are we to reflect, take in the lessons, chart a new path for the future, adopt a new attitude and allow our character to be forged in the fiery furnace of life?

For this Thanksgiving, I’m turning to the Psalms, which have many prayers of Thanksgiving. I need to lift my eyes and squint to see the glory of God through the fog of our present circumstance and allow the truth of His Word penetrate my heart. Here’s a favorite of mine, which I suggest you could read aloud and use at your Thanksgiving table:

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Blessings to you and yours this holiday season.

[photo credit: new crossing dot org]

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