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Giving Thanks In The Valley

A FULLER HEART

This year is shaping up to be one of the most trying we have seen. It’s so strange to continue your life in the middle of a pandemic, obviously making huge changes, but still seeing the same streets, the same buildings, your same house and all that goes with it. In some ways, so much has changed — but not outwardly. We still move through the seasons, from summer to fall to winter to spring — and we still move from day to day, moment to moment, second to fleeting second.

Time waits for no one, as it is said.

Before we know it, we’ll be hanging Christmas lights and singing carols as we await the celebration of Christ’s birth. Yet, here we are, waiting for the holiday on which we give thanks — Thanksgiving. When we are in the midst of our lives, it can be difficult not to think of all the negative and the bad things that have happened or may happen in the future. But, I think this year the pause that is Thanksgiving will be a welcome reminder to be thankful for what we have in all forms. Whether it is our families, our friends, our health, our shelter and more — there is always something we can reflect on and be thankful for.

As Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

“But Katrina,” you might say. “Paul didn’t live through a pandemic. Sure, it’s easy for him to tell us to rejoice in all things and give thanks — but what do we have to give thanks for?”

I’ve often felt like this, too. Everything seems to be pretty dark and dingy at the moment and that’s all I can focus on some days. However, in one such moment recently, my sister pointed out that no matter how bad my day was that day — there are many things to be thankful for. Someone out there is wishing they had the opportunity to have the “bad day” I’d had.

While I don’t think that we should ignore our circumstances entirely or make light of our situations that are less than desirable, it might be helpful to us all to find those little silver linings and bring them to the Lord. Yes, we can bring our sorrows and problems to the Lord — but we should also thank Him for the good things we have as well.

Our lives naturally have ups and downs. There is no way around that. But, we can change our outlook and how we react by focusing on the positive. I’ve heard it said that God is the God of the Mountain — but he is also the God of the Valley. He remains beside us, providing for us and showing us that there are blessings we haven’t yet noticed — we just have to see them. Be blessed my friends, this Thanksgiving, and know that I am thanking the Lord for you and yours this season.

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