Thanksgiving is a time of showing gratitude…for the freedoms we enjoy living in the United States…for the God who rules over this nation…for family and friends. But it can also be a time of loneliness and loss. There are people we miss, memories we would do anything to relive, and second chances we’d take in a heartbeat.
This is my second Thanksgiving without my father, who went home to glory in February, 2015. This is my 5th Thanksgiving without my son, who has been serving overseas for his entire career in the Air Force. Whether through death or absence, we can understand the hurt of being without those we love.
Yet there are other losses that threaten to dampen the spirit of Thanksgiving. The loss of a relationship through divorce. The loss of a job. The loss of a dream. While we can appreciate the company of family and feel gratitude toward God—chipping away at our sense of peace and joy is the pain and heartache of our circumstances.
Habakkuk 3:18 – Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Do you feel like you’re having to put on a brave face this Thanksgiving? Do thoughts of getting through the holiday season overwhelm you?
You may not feel like rejoicing in the losses you’ve experienced. But you CAN rejoice in the One who sits on the throne and will help you through it. You may not feel very happy about the direction life has gone. But you CAN be joyful in the God who has saved you and is continuing His work in the lives of those you love.
Circumstances are temporary. God is everlasting. What seems hard and impossible will one day be nothing more than a blip, a screenshot of what He has in store for us. When you can look beyond the momentary to the eternal, newfound hope arises. And we have every reason in the world to show our thanksgiving.