Let us enter his presence with thanksgiving. Psalm 95:2
2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for so many. Job loss, sickness, anxiety, and depression are on the rise. And unfortunately, holidays can often intensify the hurt we feel throughout the rest of the year.
In my family, it’s a tradition during Thanksgiving dinner for each person to name 1 thing that they are thankful for that year. With the perspective of 2020, I realize just how much I took for granted. I have thought a lot about what my answer will be this year.
In 2020 I am thankful for extra, unexpected time with my family. I am thankful for the opportunity to slow down a little. I am thankful for the realization of all of the things I took for granted like my job, going out with friends to eat, worshiping with my church family, and the amazing freedoms we have in this country. After 2020, I realize how fragile life and everything that we hold dear is.
As I look back over the year and think about all that I have to be thankful for, my heart is filled with joy. When I dwell on all of the hurt and loss that has come with 2020 I am filled with sadness and anxiety. It’s amazing what a change in perspective can do.
I’m reminded of the story in Matthew 14 when Peter walks on water. When he sees Jesus he is filled with courage. The only disciple courageous enough to step out on the water. Peter steps out of the boat. His eyes laser focused on Jesus. He takes one step, and then another. But then his eyes move from Jesus to the wind. Filled with fear, he begins to sink. A simple shift in perspective changed everything.
When our eyes are on the storm it’s so easy to become overwhelmed. But when our eyes are on Jesus we forget about the storm and we are filled with a renewed sense of hope and joy.
This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to shift your perspective. Instead of being overwhelmed by helping your kids through virtual learning, think about how wonderful it has been to be with them each day. Instead of mourning the loss of a job, look at it as an exciting opportunity for a new beginning. Look for the good and dwell on it. I believe that you will be amazed by the unexpected joy that gratitude brings.
Just as God reminded me that he wants to lighten my load, not add to it, let me refresh your soul with the same reminder. God simply wants to be with you! He wants you to come and rest in his presence. To be still. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. (Matthew 11:30).
Dear Lord, we have so much to be thankful for! Please forgive us for taking your amazing blessings for granted. Help us to shift our perspective from the storms of life to you. As we focus on you, thank you for filling us with hope, joy, and courage. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
*If you are suffering from anxiety, depression, or loneliness this holiday season, know that you are not alone. It would be our pleasure to pray for you. You can send us a message via Facebook, Instagram or email at firstname.lastname@example.org