Thanksgiving. It’s the day of the year that we eat turkey and cranberries and pumpkin pie. Families and friends congregate, and people celebrate and maybe even go to church. But what is it that they are celebrating? Who are they giving thanks to?
This thought first struck me last Thanksgiving, when, overcome with loss and grief, I wondered if I actually had anything to be thankful for or if the God that I professed to believe in should really be thanked. I’d been a Christian all my life but this time last year, I wasn’t so sure. I was sadder than I’d ever been yet I was supposed to enjoy turkey dinner and make pumpkin pie and give thanks like always because it was thanksgiving. And so I did all of these things–but I didn’t taste the turkey, I hated the pie, and I thanked God for taking from me what, in actuality, I wanted back.
This year, however, I can’t stop thanking God. Yes, I’ve experienced sorrow, bad days, and lots of tears but I’ve also tasted joy, contentment, and laughter. In one year, I have experienced more mercy and grace than I ever imagined was possible. Through grief, I was given joy, and through tears I learned to smile. God has given me everything.
So this Thanksgiving, I am not bitter or confused but simply and undoubtably thankful. I know that my God is a faithful God and that His gifts are indeed wonderful. I understand that He does work all things together for the good of those who love Him. I realize what it is to be content.
This year, my list overflows with gifts that I actually am grateful for. There is good food like turkey and spicy beans and pumpkin pie with whipping cream. New friendships that I’ve made and others that I’ve developed. Family members that I have grown to love more. Acceptance and gratefulness for the memory of what once was. Skype conversations and youth group events and church and tea with a very dear friend. Parts in plays and good books. No need for make-up, and growth through what once hurt me. I have happiness, peace, and joy. I am content and oh, so, thankful.
I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!!!