I am compelled to give thanks with a heart of gratitude most of the time, and in this season of Thanksgiving, I sense my gratitude growing undeniably. We have so much to be thankful for, and yet if we do not keep a running awareness of our blessings, we forget what we have. I am more emotional this year than in times past, this is my reality. I am looking at my emotional state as a vehicle to express more gratitude to my Heavenly Father, and as I direct my emotions toward gratitude, I receive His peace.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17.
I love being with loved ones and celebrating who they are, and yet there are times when we are called to mourn with them instead. This Thanksgiving is just such a time as my brother grieves and misses his wife. These will be his first holidays without her and he is hurting. He is choosing not to be with the family as he needs space to remember his late wife. Therefore, those of us who love him journey with him, which means we need to know what time it is. Ecclesiastes 3:4 instructs us in understanding the time. There is “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” Maybe you have loved ones, or you yourself are dealing with loss as we come upon this holiday season. So my prayer is that like my brother, you will do what is necessary for you to walk through this time. May your loved ones be gracious and give you space, if that is what you need, or surround you with open hearts and listening ears if that is what you need.
Please know that God loves you and understands your pain, He says, fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand – Isaiah 41:10. Dear one, I pray that you will let Him be your safety net and strength.