Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4 (NIV)
In 1863, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln gave the Thanksgiving proclamation and asked for Americans to set aside the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving. This special day has always been a harvest festival celebrating the gifts of the land and the gifts of God.
In two days, we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day 2020. What does that day mean for you? Lots of cooking… lots of eating…a time to gather with family!
It also begins the official start of our holiday gift buying season. Christmas decorations are up in all the stores! I’m thankful for the twinkling lights that sparkle this time of year. We wouldn’t appreciate them as much during Daylight Savings time. They are our light that shines in the darkness!
So be thankful anyway in the darkness. The darkness illuminates the light, making its brilliance shine that much brighter!
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)
As Americans, we have just come through a most polarizing national election. Half of us are pleased with the outcome and half of us are sorely disappointed. Be thankful anyway in our election process. It gives us the opportunity to have our vote count. If you’re not pleased with the outcome, take comfort in the fact that we are a nation of checks and balances. Our personal lives will not be changing dramatically. We’ll have the chance to make our vote count again in four more years.
Please remember to pray for America’s leaders…whether we voted for them or not.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
1 Timothy 2:1-3 (NIV)
Haven’t we all gotten tired of this COVID pandemic? We want our lives & schedules back. We’re done with masks & standing 6 feet apart. We long to shake hands or hug somebody! Yet we’ve adjusted…..cell phones, FaceTime, Zoom meetings…spending time with family.
Our closets are cleaned out. We’ve had time for yard work and hobbies. Doing WITHOUT makes us realize what is truly important in our lives. Communicating through our laptops…iPads…or phones only demonstrates our need for human contact. Won’t it be wonderful to reach out in person again? Be thankful anyway. We’ve learned to adjust!
Let’s accept the challenge to find at least one thing that this pandemic has done to give us a clearer, more positive outlook on life. Do we appreciate our work or our family more? Has our prayer time increased? Do we think of or reach out more to those who are alone during this time?
This COVID pandemic has actually had a normalizing effect on my life. Since my brain injury, I’ve become very comfortable with not being able to do or go whenever I want to. So my ‘new normal’ began 23 years ago. Doing life remotely now has given me more of an opportunity to participate. I certainly don’t feel left out of things!
I’ll ask again…Where is God in our New Normal? (https://mvarga.com/spiritual-insights/where-is-god-in-our-new-normal/) We see Him in the faces all around us. Never doubt that God is in control of this strange situation in our lives. He tells us that weeping may endure for the night, but joy will come in the morning.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me.
The Lord will vindicate me; your love, Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands
Psalm 138:7-8 (NIV)
If we invite Him, Jesus will come and be the bright light in our lives. 2020 has been a dark and learning year for all of us. Yet if we look to Him to give it all meaning, we will survive and be wiser for the wear!
2020 will become the year of human survival. So let’s take this year and use God’s direction to make it a year where we can all thrive! Then someday we will be thankful eternally.
How can we ever thank You for bringing us through this dark and sometimes lonely time. We have learned so much about ourselves & our world. Both are imperfect, but You’ve known that all along.
Help us to realize that You are with us every step of the way. We may not understand where You’re leading us, but let your light lead us in the right direction.
We thank You for loving & watching out for us as we struggle to make our world a better place in the little corner that we occupy.
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