Juno writing – I was asked to share some thoughts about “Thanksgiving” for the website of our church, MPCC. So with my plate full (not with Thanksgiving food, but at work), I thought I’d give the opportunity to my daughter to see if she had some thoughts, without any pressure or guilt she shares these thoughts this Thanksgiving…
What does being thankful mean? According to Merriam – Webster dictionary, being thankful means conscious of benefit received, expressive of thanks, or well pleased or glad. Be thankful sounds like the easiest thing to do, but in reality we all know that being thankful is a lot easier said than done.
Another way we could look at being thankful is in a situation such as getting out of a bad relationship (not that I’m in any bad relationships). While the pain of ‘breaking up’ is not pleasant, we can remain thankful that God will take care of us during the transitional time, and in our hearts we know the ‘break up’ was for the best. We could also find thanks in a situation such as losing a loved one, and although losing somebody who is close to you is so hard, we can be thankful for the time that we had with that person. Another thing we can find thanks in is financial issues, we all know that financial issues can cause a lot of stress in our lives (even for college students) and it can hurt families, but it is important that when we go through struggles financially we remember all the things that we have and be thankful for those things.
I know that by me saying all these examples your probably thinking “yeah, but you don’t know how hard my life is right now.” However I am fully aware that situations life hands us can be extremely hard. God never intended that being thankful would come easy to us (maybe that’s what He reminds us to be thankful). 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “give thanks in all circumstances; for this God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This verse alone is God challenging us to be thankful. It doesn’t say to be thankful for all circumstances, rather IN all circumstances.
Why does he want to challenge us? Think about it. When you have actually taken the time to realize what you are truly thankful for, you realize things that you never would have before. Sometimes going through a hard situation in life can help us remember just how thankful we are for the love of God and all that He has given to us. God knows our true hearts and whether or not we are truly thankful. The importance of giving our thanks back to God is extremely crucial for us as Christians. God has given us all we could ever want and then some. He has given us our jobs that bring us money, our houses that cover our heads, and the food we have on our table. But not only that, God has given us eternal life! Which in itself is the greatest thing to be thankful for.
This Thanksgiving instead of going around the table saying what nice “things” you’re thankful for, share about the blessings of friendships, the health of family and friends and for the basic necessities that God has provided. Happy Thanksgiving everyone :) McKenzie Smalley