I’m going to take an opposite approach to Thanksgiving this year. Instead of focusing on what I DO HAVE I’m going to focus on what I DON’T HAVE.
Calm down. I’m not talking about in a materialistic way.
To properly approach Thanksgiving Day, I think we need to always keep in mind what the actual living conditions of the Pilgrims were. They had landed in the middle of a New England winter in a strange new land, intent on serving the One True God. For their faith and their freedom they faced harsh circumstances in an epic way. We don’t need to describe in gory detail the privation they endured because the statistics tell it all:
By the time spring came, only 47 of the original 102 colonists were alive. And of those alive, only seven were strong enough to function and had to take care of the rest.
With these heartbreaking, intense hardships, they still chose to praise God for his provision and were truly thankful that they had harvested enough food so that they would not become extinct in their second winter in the New World. They were thankful simply to eat and be able to live in a world with nothing but cold, work, and nights without light. In the words of Edward Winslow, one of the survivors who wrote an account of their experience the first year,
“And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”
In light of those circumstances, they still looked to their Creator and said, “Thank you, God. You are good.” Looking at the God-centered gratitude offered up by these brave souls, I feel humbled and blessed. Beyond blessed. Jeez, I don’t even know if there’s a word to describe blessed beyond blessed. Uber blessed?
So, that said, I am focusing on what I DON’T have this Thanksgiving.
I don’t have want in my life.
I don’t have hunger.
I don’t have sickness.
I don’t have death or loss.
I don’t have fear.
But when I do, (not if, but when) the ultimate blessing comes in know that it won’t change a thing. GOD IS STILL SOVEREIGN. God is still good. Whatever my lot, it is well with my soul. And that’s where the true “thanks giving” comes in. It reminds me of the quote I posted above:
Some people are so poor, all they have is money.
I am rich and I am blessed and it has nothing to do with my car, or my home, or my cosplays, or my book collection, or the plants on my patio (though those ARE things to gives thanks for). When I think of my many blessings, I think of my handsome husband – my hearts brother, my best friend, my hunka hunka lovin’ man. I think of my precious baby girl – my baby world, my little koala cuddles, my pretty princess. MY FAMILY. Dear God, how did I ever get to be so blessed?! It boggles my brain. But with all these blessings, what is even more amazing?
The realization that the heart of my happiness is the intangible blessings that come from knowing and loving the Creator of every good thing.
I may have more next year. I may have less. But through it all, I know God is good. And that is more than enough for me. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and God Bless!