Let’s face it, there is much to get down about these days. All you have to do is to turn on a cable news channel on any given evening to get you depressed or fearful about any number of things. For months there has been discussion about the upcoming mid-term elections. It seems that we are experiencing more frequent and severe hurricanes. As I write this, the top stories on all news networks is about a number of pipe bomb devices and suspicious packages delivered to those who align on the liberal side of politics and a caravan of thousands making their way to the U.S. border. 11 Jewish people were killed in a synagogue and many others injured. And the list goes on. It will be something else tomorrow and the next day.
But we don’t have to look at national or global issues. Each of us has things that concern or worry us as well. You may be worried about a key relationship in your life. Perhaps you are worried about losing your job, or maybe you already have. Finances, children, health issues for you or a loved one, the list is almost endless.
So, as we approach the last two months of the year and enter into the holiday season once again, and Thanksgiving in particular, why don’t we take some time to focus on all we have to be thankful for.
Here are a few of the things we can be thankful for:
- For believers this list has to start with God and the gift of salvation He has provided for us through His son, Jesus. Even with life’s storms raging in your life, you can hang on to your faith and know that ultimately everything is going to be fine (Romans 8:28). We’re thankful the sun comes up every morning, and His mercies are new with every day dawning. Lamentations 3:22-23 (quite ironic this uplifting verse is found in the midst of lament!)
- Family and Friends. Our families and friends come next. I know that certainly not everyone has had a pleasant experience with their family. Some have a difficult time embracing a heavenly Father when their earthly father was abusive, for example. I was blessed to be raised by wonderful parents who taught me values and made sure I went to church each Sunday. I have a brother and sister that I love dearly. God blessed me with a godly wife, and now I get to enjoy time with an incredible extended family. As an introvert, I’ve never had many close friends. But in my career, I had the opportunity to work with hundreds of wonderful people, many of whom developed into friends.
- Our churches are something else to be thankful for. My wife and I have been blessed to be a part of a Bible believing and Christ honoring church now for nearly 24 years. And believe it or not, we have had the same lead pastor for all of those years! A church is another place in which you can make some wonderful life-long friends.
- Our Callings. Another thing to be thankful for are the callings God has provided us. Each of us have a portfolio of callings. This would include not only our jobs, but would also include such things as being a spouse, uncle, grandparent, son, etc. We are each uniquely gifted by the Father.
There are many other things that we can be thankful for, not only during this time of year, but each and every day. For example, I’m thankful for good health, finances to provide for my family, God’s creation, Cardinal baseball and our dog Molly. The point of this article is not to ignore the very difficult issues we are facing, but for us to stop, take a breath, and think of the things that God has blessed us with and thank Him for those things.