Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
This is the end of our Thanksgiving Weekend. For us in America, we have, over the course of time made this a weekend of indulging in a great amount of food , followed by a spending frenzy of black Friday sales that has slowly over the course of the years started to invade Thanksgiving Day itself. To say that we got off track is an understatement. Gratitude gets lost in the sea of greed. This year we were forced to make some changes. Living with a pandemic has changed not only the way many have celebrated the holiday but also the ritualized mad shopping dash (at least in person). I remember when people would wake up well before the break of dawn to get in line of their favorite big box store to jostle with others for the limited deals. Nothing of that lines up with Gratitude. And the sad thing about that is, is that when we lose our gratitude we do harm to ourselves. Slowing down to appreciate what we do have, to feel not only blessed but content is something that, believe it our not, boosts our health, our immunity our resiliency, our relationships, our personality. See this article for the surprising list of benefits that can be gained from enjoying a spirit of Gratitude compiled from research on the subject.
In the above verse. Paul encourages gratitude in a list of commands to follow as we experience the darkness enfold around us. This is the time he says to be children of the light, to be intentionally lighting up this dark world. Our gratitude, when things are grim are life changing to those around us. Didn't Dr. Suess teach us that gratitude in the face of tragedy could swell the size of stone cold heart in "The Grinch who stole Christmas?" As children of the light, our blessings can never truly be taken from us, dispite the social distancing, loss, grief, fear and unrest of this world. Our blessings reside in complete security in Christ regardless of whatever else happens to us. And so maybe the loss of big gatherings, large plates of food, and shopping frenzies actually give us something to be grateful for. And perhaps the grinches around us will see something in us that can never be destroyed and experience their own change of heart.
This has been part of the Five Minute Friday Writing Community. A community of Writers who link up to write on a topic for 5 minutes each Friday (or somewhere around there....)