I worked most of yesterday in preparation for today and find myself up early this morning with thoughts of others on my heart. Over the years I’ve learned for whom of my friends and family the holidays bring times of difficulty, loneliness, sadness, and longing for things to be different; better; whole. There is something about us that bids us to stop and consider, to ponder where we’ve been and where we are heading at times set aside for giving thanks or gathering with family and friends.
As we gather to remember our blessings, we find our minds wandering to the areas of our lives we wish were different. We often remember Thanksgivings of the past, the peaceful ones and…the painful. I always have a desire to help ease the hurts within and around me so I’ve found myself being drawn to thoughts of what indeed brings relief from suffering in the difficult moments. God’s Word is filled with promises, with the blessed hope of Jesus who came and died and who is coming again!
Whatever our sorrow, no matter how great, for those who hope in Christ…glory awaits!
It is often helpful also to focus on the immediate and tangible blessing given for the day and to surrender all thoughts of what could have been; what we want to be different; and failures far behind us that can never be revisited for a change. To do all of this, the only way is to remember that The God of all Grace truly forgives and cleanses from all unrighteousness when a believer asks Him to and is willing to “go and sin no more.” I find the call daily beckoning me to believe the promises of God, not just to read them, or say them, but to believe them, walk in them, wrap them around my shoulders as my cloak and comfort as I face each new day; forgetting what is past and looking with hope to the future that the Lord alone holds in His mighty, merciful, and capable hands.
We cannot change the past or erase old hurts but we can choose to live in a way that brings comfort to the hearts of others; we can turn from what is harmful and embrace what is good by the grace that has been given us in Christ Jesus. I love that, that no matter how hurt we have been or even how hurtful we’ve been, we can call on the Lord to give us perfect hearts and to bless us with His ways and He will. He will bless us to see the fruit of the Spirit and to enter into the blessing of knowing that we indeed can be a source, through Him, of goodness, kindness, and healing in the lives of those around us.
For those who have lost loved ones over whom they continue to grieve, my heart is especially tender. My prayer for each one today is for the peace of God to fill and bless and for the joy of the Lord to be our strength. Imagine the joys of heaven, of an eternity of goodness and love, righteousness and praise; let that be your strength for the day as you hold to the truth that you are not alone. The loving hand of the Lord is always on His own!
As we give thanks today for God’s protection and provision, let us remember to live this day in a way we will delight to remember in the days ahead. Let us love one another and encourage as we go that we may be a blessing and bring joy to the hearts of the little ones who toddle at our feet. There is no greater gift to give to children than to live as the Lord calls us to, in love and humility, speaking in kind words and showing to them the gentle ways of one whose heart is filled with thanksgiving and praise. As if to say by our actions “this is what it is to love Jesus and it’s a mighty wonderful thing!” Oh, I live in this way in hopes it will be part of what causes their little hearts to want to know and walk in Jesus too! I wait with hope and anticipation of all the good things that lie ahead for those little ones I love so dear!
Psalm 110:4-5 “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him and bless Him name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.”