Grateful – Appreciative of benefits received (Merriam-Webster)
Thanksgiving 2020 has arrived. If you asked me January 2020, I could have described what I thought the activities this year would look like: like every other year, big lunch at church, afternoon games and fellowship.
But nonetheless here we are. We are in the midst of a global pandemic that is seemingly dominating every area of our lives, battling fear versus faith even more than usual every day. And no big meal. Just a quiet holiday with close family, isolating to avoid spread of COVID-19.
It sounds like a broken record now, but all our visions and plans for 2020 were essentially thrown to the wind as the reality of a pandemic and the need for safety and health measures overtook our desires for fellowship and usual activity.
Tasha Layton, in her song “Into the Sea (It’s gonna be ok)” asks this question that has echoed in my own heart and I’m sure the heart of others as we enter the final weeks of this year that has seemed like a decade: “Can You make something from the wreckage?”
When we look around our lives, many of see see wreckage all around us from this year, a result of all the failures and unforeseen consequences of this year.
It is a true exercise of our faith this year to list what we are grateful for and answer this question. I have honestly struggled in the last few days to find things I’m grateful for, especially given I’ve been under a shadow of gloom from recent news in the world. But as I paused, I realized I have so much to be appreciative of: a family, a home, a job, good friends, good community, opportunities to serve, a chance to see beauty in a world of chaos.
He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.2 Kings 6:16-17 (ESV)
As we close out this year, shift your perspective from the cloud of gloom around you and see what Elisha’s servant saw in 2 Kings 6, the armies of the Lord surrounding their physical enemies and fighting for them. No matter the battle we face today, those with us are far greater than the ones against us. Vow today to continually give thanks and not let the enemy steal your identity and joy.
God can and will work with the “wreckage” of your year and fulfill His purpose in your life; but there is a surrender in being able to trust in Him even with the fog of our current realities.