Thanksgiving has always been a favorite time for me. As a kid I grew up going to my grandma’s house every Thanksgiving. In my mind it was a larger-than-life event. The house was always full of people, and we always had great meals. As I’ve gotten older, I look back fondly on those memories because so many of the people who gathered around the table for those meals are no longer with us.
I have a lot to be thankful for. I say this a lot, but I truly am blessed. As you pause this week and share time with friends and family I want to challenge you to spend some time considering all you have to be thankful for. I never know what someone’s situation is when they might be reading this. You might be living your best life, or you might be in the midst of unimaginable pain. A lot of us might be stuck right in the middle. No matter your circumstances, I hope all of us can see that we have things to be thankful for.
I want to share a few suggestions with you as we reflect on all that God has done for us.
Identity: I sat with someone recently who was sharing with me just how discouraged they were feeling. When reflecting on their life, they saw a lot of failure and missed opportunities. I reminded them that no matter how we see ourselves, God sees us as his child. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” John 1:12. We can be thankful that God doesn’t see our mess or our mistakes. When he sees us, he sees his child. Our identity is not found in what we do or how good we are. Our Identity is found in Jesus and for that I’m thankful.
More than stuff: Sometimes we judge our value by what we own. This Thanksgiving take some time to be thankful for the people God has placed in your life. People over possessions – Nothing you buy, nothing you obtain can give you the joy or fulfillment that a healthy relationship can. Some of you might be in a season where you are feeling alone, you might be feeling abandoned. Look around, God has put someone in your life. Sometimes we must be the friend we want to have. That means sometimes we have to take the first steps. Take some time this weekend to write a note, make a call or send a text letting someone in your life know that you are truly thankful for them.
Blessings: Blessings show up big and small. Even in the midst of some of our darkest days, there are things to be thankful for. Taking time to count your blessings reminds us of the good God has for us. It takes our focus off the negative and draws out all the good things we have in our life. Sometimes it’s helpful to actually sit down with pen and paper and make a list. You will be amazed at the attitude shift and the grateful heart that comes from naming the blessings God has poured out in your life.
This year I have a ton to be thankful for. I’m blessed with an amazing family, God has placed some incredible co-workers in my life, and I have great friends. I’m thankful for my church family and the love and support they show me and my family. I’m constantly reminded of God’s goodness. Will you join me in taking time this week to reflect on all we have to be thankful for?
While our Shaken series has ended---On December 4th we will celebrate our SHAKEN Commitments together! This will be an exciting Sunday as we praise God for what he is doing in our lives and life of our church.
Join us THIS Sunday as we begin a new series called Great Expectations! It will set us up well as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our King and Savior.
Colerain Campus Pastor
White Oak Christian Church