Thanksgiving brings about reflection. The day evokes thoughts and emotions in all of us: food, football, parades, celebration, family, and memory-making.
Some years, our reflections at Thanksgiving are good: great job, new spouse, new baby, new home, great friends, money enough and sometimes money to spare. You have the respect of peers and loving relationships. Reflecting in these years, it’s easy to give thanks.
Other years, our reflections at Thanksgiving just aren’t good. Financial setbacks, failed relationships, life-threatening illnesses, and deaths. Life isn’t so easy. Without reason and many times without warning, our lives are turned upside down with circumstances that may be completely out of our control. Job sums it up, “for I awaited good but evil came. I expected light, but gloom arrived” (Job 30:26). No stranger to life’s difficulties, famed song writer and singer Dottie Rambo penned these words in a song titled, “Thank You For The Valley”;
“Thank you for the valley I walk through today. The darker the valley, the more I learn to pray. I found you as the Lily, blooming by the way. And I thank you for the valley I walk through today.”
The Psalmist gives us reassurance that even in hard times, God’s presence will sustain us, “Tho I walk in the midst of trouble, thou will revive me” (Ps 138:7).
The nature of life brings us both precious gifts and painful losses, both in which we are admonished to give thanks. “In every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). In this Thanksgiving season, find a time to give thanks to Him who sustains us in all of life’s circumstances.