For those of you not from America, today is supposedly a day dedicated to gratitude. I am not even going to attempt to touch on the dubious historic treatment regarding Native Americans. That could definitely be a post of its own. As with most celebrations, the primary focus has strayed and has become centered on our own appetites. An excessive and indulgent dinner is one example. The panicked greed of Black friday is another.
Now, if life is just perfect for you right now, this post is not for you. You can stop reading and go on with however you are managing to avoid life’s trials and temptations. Okay, so, I reckon you are all still with me. Do you know why?
No matter how perfect other people’s lives may seem, there is always brokenness.
We all live imperfect lives affected by fear and darkness, and the imperfection of everybody else for that matter. So, I know I can’t be the only one struggling at this time of year.
Each year at the American family time, we all sit around the dinner table and share for just one second of the whole day what we are thankful for. So, hang tight while I take an unexpected turn by taking some time to tell you all what I am not thankful for this year.
I am not thankful for the constant rollercoaster of spiritual attacks bombarding us. I am not thankful for how the dark and evil forces of this world battle against us and push in on every side.
I don’t appreciate the hurt and confusion I see on my children’s faces as they discover more and more how harsh and cruel the world we live in can be. I am especially not thankful for when it is my own flawed self that opens their eyes to that.
I cannot be grateful for the deep sadness a person stuck in a life of exploitation or drugs or homelessness feels. Even though America is a developed country, it is truly shocking how much you can see just walking on the streets.
I am not thankful for death.
Now, here’s the thing of it all, we can sit and linger on the filth and pain and deep sorrowful heartbreak. There’s plenty of it. It does us good, honestly, to acknowledge the broken things, but, if we let it swallow us up and consume our thinking, we are not living enough.
I am thankful that I have the God of angel armies fighting those battles and being my strength when I cannot be thankful for my stability or the health of my husband.
I am thankful for my kids. I am thankful for the beauty of creation in spite of the cruelty. I am thankful for the joy on their faces when they play. I am so thankful for forgiveness when I fail – and it is definitely when not if.
I am thankful for everything is redeemable. Every hurt that cannot be undone can be made into something different.
I am thankful for Jesus.
Around this time of year, we would have been celebrating the first birthday of the child we lost. Sunday would have been my Mum’s birthday, also. I am thankful for the life we have, and I am thankful for the eternal life they have in the place Jesus has prepared for them.
I know that there are some people out there who feel like they can’t be thankful for anything this year. In the midst of that doubt, think of Jesus. Sometimes, we can feel grateful only for Jesus.
They can have all this world; give me Jesus.
Happy Thanksgiving. Choose life.
From mine to yours,