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Letter #56: Regardless of Circumstance…

November 25, 2010

Dear Thanksgiving,

The best day of the year is here!!!! Alright, I don’t know if it’s actually the best day, but it’s a great one. Turkey. Dressing. Sweet Potato Casserole. Pumpkin Pie. 80+ Rother’s in a basketball gym followed by 20+ Brueggen’s and two thanksgiving meals…I’m not sure it gets much better.

Today, all of America is ‘thankful.’ We’re thankful for happiness, the American dream, wealth, our loving families, friends who go out of their way to make us feel loved, our good health, luxurious homes, well behaved children and winning football teams. We’re thankful for the abundant blessings and overflow of good in our lives. We rave about how blessed we are, but typically only when things are how we want them to be.

My first response in the midst of challenges doesn’t tend to be thankfulness. Sickness, death, financial struggles, breakups, unhappiness, tough family situations, unanswered prayers and a mediocre record in football often results in pity for myself and anger, frustration and ungratefulness toward God…Maybe I’m the only one who struggles with this.

This season I am striving to be thankful for the unexpected challenges that come my way as well as the blessings…who am I to say the hard times aren’t blessings? Sure, up to this point in my life, I haven’t been dealt too tough a hand in life’s deck of cards, but it hasn’t been all chocolate and roses either.

Thankfulness. It’s easy to be grateful for the good, but today, I want to begin the quest of being thankful for ALL things. Today I strive to keep this in mind: “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in EVERYTHING give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:16-18

It’s easy to be thankful for finally finding the man of your dreams or for the bonus received at work. I want to learn to be thankful when I can’t even get a date and lose my job (all hypothetical situations people…my mom’s already started planning the wedding at the mention of my dream guy).

I’m looking to ‘consider it all joy’ (James 1:2-4) regardless of my circumstances. No matter how hard life gets, there is ALWAYS a bright side. This earth is temporary. The challenges we face here will fade, but the fact that Christ is coming back to restore His creation won’t. We ALWAYS have hope and a reason to be thankful if we serve the living God. Christ died for us and is coming back to rule again!

Today, you allow me to not only be thankful for my family, friends, freedom, food, finances and abundant blessings, but you also allow me to be thankful for the challenges I face.

 

Learning to have a thankful spirit,

Striver of eternal thankfulness rather than American thankfulness

 

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