For America, this year has been unlike any other year in my lifetime. We are in the midst of a pandemic that is spiraling out of control. So far, a quarter million people in the United States have perished. Many more are suffering long-term symptoms. Large gatherings are a thing of the past. Some businesses have closed and others are struggling. Kids are attending school…from home. In fact, for the next four weeks, the Governor of Minnesota, at the request of our healthcare leaders, has asked us not to gather socially outside of our household.
The image of George Floyd dying on the street in Minneapolis was seared into our minds. It opened a long-festering wound that is the result of the after-effects of racism. Some citizens protested, peacefully. Others rioted and looted. Cities burned. Monuments were torn down. “Black Lives Matter” became both a rallying cry and a subject of intense debate.
Our nation is increasingly polarized, and the President appears to have lost the election by a small margin. Allegations of fraud have been hurled on websites and news programs. Rumors of nefarious plots abound online and spread like wildfire on social media websites. So far, nothing has been proven in court that would overturn the initial results, but there is growing mistrust of the election process by some of our citizens.
It’s Thanksgiving. Isn’t that jarring?
It is a day to give thanks to the Lord for the many blessings that we have received this year. Perhaps this year we need a day of giving thanks more than we ever have before. When we are in the midst of struggles, it is easy to focus on the difficulties rather than our blessings. While a quieter holiday may seem less celebratory, it may lead to deeper reflection on the many ways the Lord has sustained us during this trying year.
Let us take time this week to truly give thanks. Begin by taking a piece of paper and listing all of the blessings that you have received from the Lord this year. Salvation in Christ, to be sure, but also the many small things. The strength to make it through the day, the daily bread, and a thousand other ways he’s sustained you. Craft a prayer of thanksgiving as a gift to Him.
Take a moment to give thanks for the people in your life. Some are close at hand and others are far away. There are those who are unknown but in your life because of the work they do: scientists, medical professionals, and government officials, to name a few.
Friends, coworkers, and family members whose relationships you value are worthy of remembering. During these difficult times, it would be good to thank them and tell them how much you appreciate them. A text, email, or phone call would brighten their day, wouldn’t it? As an act of thanksgiving, connect with those who you are most grateful for or those who you think might need encouragement during this season.
So, give thanks to Him, from whom all blessings flow in a never-ending cascade. God is good, all the time, even in the midst of a difficult year.
Word of Life Staff
A place for the Word of Life staff and guest writers to share of themselves in writing with the Word of Life family.