Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Dear Friends in Christ,
Sometimes in our admirable American pursuit of excellence, we can become a bit too demanding. There’s nothing wrong with aiming high, especially in holding standards for ourselves. However, if we’re not careful, this can bleed into our expectations of others until when we think about thankfulness, we say “I’m thankful for my cousin, but…”
Ah, the pain is in the ‘but,’ you might say. We can be too quick to quench our thankfulness when a flaw seems to “spoil it.” Your cousin might be irritating; your cousin might have truly done you wrong. However, why not let thankfulness breathe for a while? Why not take time to focus on the blessing your cousin brings and then rest in that thankfulness, that gratitude? No Thanksgiving feast is perfect, yet the meal is far more delicious without a running commentary from the chef about its shortcomings. Improvements can be made of course, in due time. Take the moment first to cultivate gratitude for the blessings in front of you.
The Thanksgiving holiday is a wonderful opportunity. More than simply saying thanks, we can take the time to be thankful. This holiday always comes in the midst of our crazy lives, full of schedule and stress, full of war and politics, mixed with loss and uncertainty. And yet, with all those flaws, we take time to be thankful—to God, to each other, grateful for the astonishing blessings in our lives. And, in all circumstances, to rest in that blessing for a while. We might even retain some of that gratitude as we re-engage the mess.
God bless you this Thanksgiving with eyes to see his many blessings he’s put in your life. And in all circumstances, be thankful!
Yours in Christ,