No one is immune from the stress and hardships of 2020. This has been an unbelievably hard year. Despite the real difficulties and struggles, it’s time to look at the larger reality. We have so much to be thankful for.
This Thanksgiving week we can begin turning the tide. We can refresh our perspective. This is the week to proclaim from the core of our being that we are thankful. We are thankful for abundant provisions. We are thankful for friends and family. We are thankful to God!
You may not feel thankful right now. That’s okay. Let’s work on our gratitude together. Begin this day by finding a quiet place and making a long “thankful for” list. Even if we don’t feel gratefulness welling up, we make our list. This becomes the truth that is greater than all of our complaints.
Armed with your list, begin proclaiming to those around you that you are thankful. Let your words inform your feelings. If you proclaim out loud your thanks, then eventually, your emotions will come along for the ride.
Review your list every morning of this Thanksgiving week. Tell God, you are thankful. Proclaim your thankfulness to someone new every day.
Consider creating a Thanksgiving team of others who will also proclaim thanks this week. Create a movement. We may still have to wear masks. We may lament the political environment in our country. We may have real mountains to climb in the upcoming months. Despite this, we can still link arms together and proclaim thanks. This can become our Jubilee week!
A few who are reading this are suffering in ways that make these words hard to read. The losses from this year are too painful. The stresses that lie ahead are too daunting. I want to encourage you to be honest about the reality of your struggle and yet still choose to proclaim your thanks.
During my most challenging times of stress and grief, I learned to choose to take a pause. The pause was a sort of break from the pain. I decided to intentionally change the subject from pain. The pause might be to do something fun, exercise, or go outside and get some fresh air. Sometimes, the pause only lasted a few minutes, but I found that I desperately needed a break from the pain. For those who are deeply struggling, this week can be your needed pause.
This is so much more than an exercise in positive thinking or mind over matter. While we have genuine hardships, the larger truth is that we have volumes for which to say “thanks.” Let this week be a week to proclaim the truth.