Happy Thanksgiving! Be grateful.

I so believe in the power of gratitude.  This is a quote that embodies for me the power of gratitude.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. ~Melody Beattie

Turning on the news today makes me shake my head – and sometimes fall to my knees crying.  There are so many challenges in our word – war, violence, poverty, anger, racism, disease, evil, sin.  It can make me want to hide my head in the sand.  But that’s not the right posture for someone who has the gift of a direct connection to God thanks to Jesus Christ.  It certainly makes me more grateful for the warm, dry home I have, for enough food, and for a healthy family. I’m grateful for the men and women who are out there in the world helping make it safer for me and my family.

I hope pausing to say thank you also makes me prayerful for those who do not have what I know that I some days take for granted.  I want to remember the mother somewhere out there who is desperate for a safe place to raise her little ones, the girl who has been captured and sold into a life of shame and abuse, the boy who is beaten into a life of war and service, and the addict suffering with guilt over a physical, mental and spiritual war waging inside his body.  But for the grace of God, there go I.

Bible

The Bible is full of reminders of the power of gratitude.

The truth is that in my life, gratitude has saved me.  When things in my life weren’t want I’d hoped and all my dreams were dashed, gratitude saved me.  Though I haven’t suffered like so many people, I know what it’s like to feel emotionally and spiritually broken.  If you read the Psalms, you will see that the authors, many of whom were suffering, persecuted, or heartbroken, included gratitude in their prose.  As they cried out to the Lord from a place of brokenness and fear, they very often included thanksgiving at the same time.  It reminds me that no matter our circumstances, whether good or bad, we have a reason to give thanks.  So, even more than Beattie’s quote, scripture reminds me of my proper attitude.

In all things, give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you all.  ~1 Thessalonians 5:18

I pray that this day finds you grateful.  And I pray that it finds me likewise.  Because I have been ransomed by Jesus, no matter what else happens and above all other gifts, I have reason to be grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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