“Always give thanks to God the father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).
Thanksgiving Day. How is your heart?
My heart is tired. Weary. Hopeful, yet filled with caution. And is that real hope? It has been a challenging year and although I can resist making lists of the things I am not thrilled about, asking me to making a list of things I am thankful for? Well, it just seems too exhausting–emotionally exhausting.
And yet I am thankful. Truly. I have so many blessings I could share how God has provided through the changes and challenges. This is a season I want to look back on someday and share about how God was present. But I am impatient. I want to look back at this season. I don’t want to keep going through it.
I see ministry leaders posting blogs filled with hope, joy, and thankfulness. And I feel so weak, so lacking in leadership. But, friends, this is where Ephesians 5:20 comes in. Because look at the verse again. Do you see where it says we need to feel thankful? No? Me either. Instead we are to give thanks.
God gives us a verb–an action. We are to give thanks. We aren’t meant to stir up those feelings all by ourselves. We are just supposed to give thanks. We need God to stir up the emotions. We need the King of Kings to mold our heart to feel thankful when life is hard. When we give thanks the Holy Spirit works. When we list our frustrations, the Holy Spirit doesn’t have anything to work with . . . because we didn’t invited Him in.
Perhaps today is a joyous day for you. But maybe not. I will be at home with my husband and son, trying to make a small Thanksgiving Day dinner that is lo carb, and trusting that God will take care of each of us in months to come–each with our own specific needs. I trust that we serve a God who will collect our tears. And that He has come to give us a full life–abundantly.
I am so glad I can always cling to the fact that no matter what–my Savior lives. And that is something I can always give thanks for.
Prayer: God, thank You for Your love of each of us. You see the loneliness, the fears, the feelings of abandonment. You see the stresses, the dreams delayed, the illnesses that will not stop seeming to attack our bodies. Oh, Lord, put Your loving arms around each person who reads this today. Thank You for not expecting us to force feelings of thankfulness on our own. Amen.
about the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries. She is taking one day at a time, trying to care of her family and her body, her ministry, her jewelry business, and her heart.
Does feeling thankful come easily to you? Do you have seasòns when you need God to step in and meet you where you are at when it comes to feeling thankful about your circumstances?
This is a beautiful video from Liberty University about why we celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s not about an act of submission, but an honest admission… Hoping it blesses you as we continue to pray for not only our homes and families, but our world, our governments, the many without homes or food today, those who need to know Jesus. Hugs. -Lisa