Generally, in November we take time to reflect on what we’re thankful for. We at least do this on Thanksgiving and probably throughout different moments of the month. But this year feels different in so many ways, doesn’t it?
When the world seems dark and we focus on all that’s unpredictable and uncertain, it’s hard to feel thankful, isn’t it? This year has brought about so much sudden change, canceled plans, and hard losses.
Is it possible to be thankful through it?
We have a great reminder in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Paul doesn’t say to give thanks only when things are going well, when life is going according to our plans, or when we feel happy. No, he says to “give thanks in all circumstances.” Even 2020 is included in that definition!
He also reminds us in Philippians 4:4-6 NIV to “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
Paul wrote these words from a jail cell, where he was held captive for preaching the gospel. He chose to rejoice and be thankful despite his circumstances!
While this year has been unlike any other and we’ve all experienced many losses, there still are things to be thankful for. We don’t have to be thankful for the pandemic, but we can be thankful through it. Spend some time reflecting on these questions as a family:
- What has 2020 made possible for our family?
- What did we enjoy during stay-at-home orders?
- What did we do/try that we didn’t have time for before?
- What have we learned from this year?
- What is God teaching us?
- How can we remind each other to rejoice in the Lord and be thankful, even in hard times?
- How can we encourage others?
- How can we look forward to the future with joy and hope?
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV
We wish you many blessings during this Thanksgiving season!