11/26 - Thankfulness
Sermon Series: What If
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1Thessalonians 5:18
Sometimes, genuine thanksgiving is birthed out of hard places.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It always has been. The fanfare of Christmas has always overwhelmed me. Thanksgiving 2005 was sacred, by far the one I hold closest to my heart. My whole family was gathered –my husband, children, parents, and extended family. We stood in a circle, one by one lighting each other’s candles, acknowledging a blessing from that year. It was a precious scene, one that will never be repeated. The following February, my youngest son Luke was killed in a tragic car accident. Thanksgiving, forever changed. I too, forever changed.
God says, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” Initially, this verse felt like a dagger being plunged into my bleeding wounded heart. I would ask God, “How does a broken heart feel thankful?” “Show me.” He reminded me, because of Jesus my loss was temporary, a huge eternal reality. From that perspective I could build a new paradigm. I could be grateful for the gift of salvation and for His comforting promises. My heart softened, recognizing more blessings. He further revealed, thankfulness opens my heart to Him, His healing, and glimpses of His eternal perspective.
Thankfulness is teaching me to live-thrive among unthinkable circumstances.
A posture of thankfulness should be a lifestyle, not just a holiday, but an ongoing attitude woven into everyday life. Counting blessings keeps me in the moment, recognizing that in spite of what has been lost, much good remains.
Today, I still miss my son. I always will. However, I am grateful for his fifteen years of life. I am cognizant of the way God has carved a place in my heart to minister to others who have suffered loss. I want to bless them with hope. And, yes, I am excited to celebrate Thanksgiving again. Restoration has come. Thank you, God!
PRAYER: Father, I ask you to continue to open the eyes of my heart to your blessings. They are everywhere. They remind me that You are good and that You love me with an everlasting love. Amen.
Devotion written by Maryanne Abbate
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