So recently my Facebook and twitter feeds have been bombarded by people posting what they are thankful for this month. I applaud the idea, even if it is growing a little stale. But this post is going to be for those who aren't sure what they have to be thankful for - for those struggling to come up with enough ideas to fill a week, much less a month. If not for Jesus, I know I could struggle with this. So bear with me for a minute. It'll be worth it, I promise :)
Next week it'll be 10 years since my mother passed away. Blink and a decade has gone by without her. I wonder what she'd think of me and the decisions I've made that put me where I am in my life now. And then there's my father, who, to put it mildly, doesn't have much to do with the family anymore. Not assigning blame here, just telling it how it is, and it's hard to argue with that. My once close-knit family has fractured to where I am basically on my own.
There's the fact that I'll be 28 next week, and recently I've watched friend after friend get married. Obviously I am happy for them, and more than a little envious. I don't have that companion to stand by my side, to encourage me, to laugh with me, and to share the secret joys and troubled times with. Each year, those friends will drift a little further apart, and it scares me I'll be left alone here as well.
I'm voicing the thoughts a lot of people don't have the courage or the will to say. Not everything is great and wonderful and life doesn't always go your way. The guy doesn't always get the girl, and the girl doesn't always get swept off her feet. That raise or bonus you were looking for may not come. Injuries happen. Your car may get totaled. It may be a struggle day to day for you just to simply live life. But that doesn't mean that there isn't a lot for which to be thankful; you just have to know where, and to whom, to look.
There is a God who loves you more than I can ever explain in one simple blog post. But he's real, and he's there for you if you'll let him be. And this is something I struggle with every day - reminding myself of the Gospel of Christ, and just letting go of the desire to have control of my life. Although I don't really know why. You'd think I'd let the one being in the universe who is all knowing and all powerful be in charge, but somehow, in my limited intellect, I think I can do better than he can. I think that I can know what is best for me, and how to best have a situation resolve.
I'm not saying it's easy. Obviously it's not. But God can and will ease the sorrows and comfort the broken hearted. He wants to wipe away the shame and the guilt. For me, that is enough to be thankful for this month. To some, It may not seem like much. But for me, it'll do. There is pain and hurt in this world, but there is joy in abundance just waiting for you if you know where to look - Jesus Christ. To quote DC Talk, 'There is love in the red letters. There is truth in the red letters. There is hope for the hopeless. There is peace and forgiveness. There is life in the red letters.' When you don't know where to turn, when all you know is pain, when you feel alone - remember that the God of this universe sent his son to die for our sins - he took our place so we can be with Him forever! Ladies and gentlemen, that is powerful love right there.
Share it with your friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers this holiday season. You never know what they're going through or dealing with. You may get ignored, or get dirty looks, or even cussed out. But who knows? Maybe that one person who needed to hear it will. And it will make all the difference in the world to them.
Love in Christ,