Last week, I mentioned that I had been grumbling and complaining about having to cancel a trip that I had planned since early this year. In fact, I should already be strolling along the ocean with my feet covered in sand at this very moment instead of sitting here in Virginia. I was fully prepared to be sad as I watched my friend leave town and start on the journey. I expected to feel deprived and upset when I saw photos of them laughing and enjoying themselves while still going about my everyday life.
Instead of having the “fear of missing out” feelings, I have peace. I don’t feel deprived at all, and I am not sad or upset. The funny thing is, I know that the Lord said that He would give you peace, but I guess I didn’t really expect to experience it for myself.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
These verses have been on replay for me this year. Anxious, scared, and worried are all words you could use to describe most of us when it comes to the pandemic plaguing the world. Philippians 4, verse 6, reminds us NOT to be anxious about anything, and instead to pray, with THANKSGIVING to the Lord. I think that I had been concentrating so hard on verse 6 that I glossed over how important verse 7 was. I missed that the peace of God would guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
This year has been a tough one on everybody in some way. We have learned to wash our hands to the point of obsessiveness. Social distancing is a new word that pretty much means “keep your distance” when talking to people. And, for some of us, we have a new fashion accessory called a mask, and we have learned to always have several on hand just in case we need to run into a store and grab something.
I don’t want to downplay how horrible this year has been for some. Isolation has been hard, the economy has taken a horrible lick, and the lives lost is staggering. However, even with all of the horribleness, there are so many ways to be still thankful.
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I know that the silver lining can be so faint, and our hurt and despair so great that it is hard to find. However, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t still look for reasons to be thankful. What we dwell on grows, so if we dwell on circumstances that we can’t control and make us worry, then worry is what will grow. If we choose to dwell on ways of being thankful, then thankfulness will grow.
Thanksgiving is next week, and even though it might not be the same as years past, there are plenty of reasons to be thankful. I am going to help give you with this task.
Family and Friends
I am very thankful for all of my family and friends, and I pray for their health and well being. This year might not be the year to get together, but we can ZOOM, Facetime, phone call, or do a drive-by and say hello to still feel connected.
I might burn the bread this Thanksgiving, but I am very thankful for the food that provides nourishment to our bodies. I pray that the Lord will guide those that can provide to those who are in need.
I am thankful that we have the funds to pay the bills and to donate to charities. We need to remember that charities are also struggling during this pandemic, and if we are fortunate enough to have extra funds, we need to give to those in need.
Floor Under our Feet and a Roof Over our Heads
I have shelter and a nice bed with plenty of covers to keep me warm. My house is not a mansion, but to some, it would only be a dream. My floors are not dirt, and my roof doesn’t leak… I am blessed!
Flushing toilets and Electricity
I remember going to my great-grandparents, who didn’t have indoor plumbing. There are still many places in the world that don’t have these luxuries that we take for granted. So, while you take your cell phone to the bathroom, remember to say a prayer of thanks.
Do I need to be in better shape? Absolutely!!! But, I have access to doctors and medications that help to keep me healthy. I am thankful for the scientist and pharmaceutical companies who are hard at work looking for new and improved medications.
We have the world literally at our fingertips. Need a recipe for Thanksgiving dinner? Wonder what the weather is going to be for the upcoming week? Want to get the latest news from around the world? Power up your phone or computer and say a prayer of thanks for all of the information we have and take for granted.
The Lord is faithful! Above all else, we should be thankful that the Lord loves us enough to forgive us when we worry, stress, whine, and complain. He is there for us in the middle of the day or the middle of the night. He is always there for us, and this pandemic is no exception.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.
I hope you have a wonderful day that is filled with many blessings. Take a few minutes each day, and think of three things that happened that day for which you are thankful. This is a great exercise that helps you look back over your day and think about the positives instead of the negatives.
To God Goes The Glory!
Have A Blessed Day!