“At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father,” Ephesians 5:20 (AMPC)
What is there to be thankful for? Remember when we were celebrating New Year’s 11 months ago? When we were planning, making New Year’s resolutions, creating vision boards, and promising this would be our year? Who could have predicted the plot twist 2020 brought to the entire world? The loss of jobs, family members, finances, homes, and (in many cases) a person’s own sanity. As we’re getting ready to leave this year behind, we have to wonder…do we even want 2021? If we’re honest, most of us are at a crossroad between wanting to leave 2020 behind and not knowing if 2021 will be any better.
Yes, it’s true that all year we have endured what seemed like more than we could handle. That we did suffer loss, and were prone to fear more than ever before. For many people, the negatives this year have outweighed the positives. Some of us lost relationships that were near and dear, and meant to last until death parted them. Many of us were ready to throw this year away back in June. And, as if a pandemic wasn’t enough, a racial pandemic hit as well. Throw in the loss of esteemed public figures, a bizarre presidential election, and a second wave of rising Covid-19 numbers and it’s a wrap. Again, what is there to be thankful for?
Everything. No, I’m not being super-saved, extra holy, or mega-spiritual. This year has sucked – flat out. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say this has been the hardest year of my life. No lie, this year has brought the most colossal and heart-breaking circumstance I have ever gone through. Even this year’s Thanksgiving plans have been affected, not just by Covid but also because of the transition I am going through right now. It’s not the same. Nothing is the same. But there is one thing that has helped me in the midst of the chaos, confusion, anger, change, uncertainty, and everything I’ve lived in these past 327 days that would deem unworthy of giving thanks – it’s giving thanks for everything. Thanking God daily even on my darkest days has carried me through each day.
First Thessalonians 5:18 says that it is God’s will for us to give God thanks in all circumstances. Not in some, not just when the sun is out, when your finances are good, when your husband is acting right, when your career is going well, when the kids are behaving, when that annoying coworker calls out, when there’s peace on every side. No…the Bible says ALL circumstances and that this is God’s will. Why? Because giving thanks has nothing to do with what you’re going through and everything to do with your heart posture while you’re going through it. Thankfulness is literally a lifeline for exactly those moments when we should be losing our minds! This Thanksgiving might look, feel, and be different for you too, but your heart doesn’t have to. Whether you’re ready to leave 2020 or apprehensive about 2021, give God thanks for what has been, what is, and what is to come. Thank God for all of it, good or bad, at all times and for everything.