Thanksgiving in a Pandemic Year

It’s November 25th, the day before Thanksgiving.

All of us have been touched in one way or another by the COVID-19 pandemic this year. Some have lost loved ones, some have lost jobs, some have experienced the actual illness itself, and others have been impacted by the separation that it has caused. That’s on top of everyone who has experienced loss, pain, discouragement, and more that’s not related to the pandemic.

How, in the midst of all of this, can we be thankful?

First, we can look to the history books of our American celebration of Thanksgiving. We all learned that the Pilgrims and a local tribe of Native American Indians celebrated that first feast together after a bountiful harvest. But, a closer look shows that this was only one-half of the original group of settlers. The other half had died during the previous harsh winter. One-half! Let that sink in.

In a video, I posted about the hymn, “Count Your Blessings” (the YouTube link is https://youtu.be/mKZhIsRQQPQ ), I noted that we are tossed by the tempests, discouraged, burdened with a load of care, seeing others who have more than us, or in the midst of the conflicts of life – all concepts raised by the song, In these areas and so many more, our blessings are found in trusting in what God has done and is doing in our lives. It’s not based on this world that is passing away, but the eternal promised that He has given to us.

The scripture, Ephesians 1:3, backs this up: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. (English Standard Version)

We can look around at the things we’ve received and the family and friends that God has blessed us with, but we should look up and recognize God at work in us to accomplish His good will. Then, we are able to look inside of ourselves and let the gratitude build until it impacts those around us.

May your heart be filled with Thanksgiving to God for all of His blessings regardless of the circumstances of you life. May you be encouraged on this day through Jesus Christ, God’s Son and our Savior.

Blessings,

Richard


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