1Thessalonians 5:16-18. Rejoice always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances; for this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus.
I heard for the fist time on national tv, the accounting of the first Thanksgiving as told by a Native American. The story itself wasn’t news to me, but the fact that the telling was aired by a major network on prime time, was. Unlike too many history books, truth, ugly truth about the pilgrims was being told. At the end, the reporter asked the Native American historian, if he and family still celebrated the holiday, and if so, why. He said “most definitely, yes”. He explained, they continued to celebrate because they look back through generations, they see all they had gotten through. They remind themselves and their children that in spite of all that had been inflicted on them, they were still here, still strong, still hopeful. That remains the reason to be thankful.
My mind immediately went to the plight of my people, Black Americans and the phrase in our National anthem, “God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou who has brought us thus far on our way, Thou who hast by Thy might, led us into the light, keep us forever in the path we pray”. I thought, wow, now that’s a reason to celebrate. God has kept us!
Today I’m thankful for the fact that we, as a people were not obliterated under the thumb of the oppressor, and a continued system of hate. Today I am thankful because, we’re still here! If what I’ve seen and heard in this past year alone is any indication of where we stand in America, we have a ways to go! But that’s the thing, God has brought us this far and given our ancestors, parents, and grand parents wisdom, strength and courage to help get us this far! And I suspect, He’s not leaving!
Today, I’m thankful. Though this year is totally different from last. Last year this time I flew from California to minister at a retreat, where I was housed at a beautiful resort on an awesome beach in Florida. And was blessed to have one of my “sisters” join me! From there I flew to Nashville and my daughter met me, to enjoy the holiday with my son, daughter in love, and our family. That was the plan this year, but God had other plans. Like He said to Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you”. I’m certain your last year’s Thanksgiving was a lot different than this year too.
Today, if you’re however, reading this, take note: We’re still here, and God has given us common sense, and means to keep us safe. We’re alive, waking up each morning free, from slavery and sin! “He whom the Son sets free, is free indeed”, John 8:36. And though all may not seem well, we’re in His plan! Everything we face, He uses for our good! We’re waking up to new possibilities and accomplishing things that were not necessarily in our plans! We’re waking up with new strength! Our eyes are being opened, to truths no one wanted to talk about, or tried to pretend away and yet, with those ugly truths facing us, we now move with eyes wide open and hopefully, in God blessed wisdom! God is still with us moving in us to be, to do, to prosper in Him.
So as you face this Monday morning, open His word, take a while and visit with Hm in prayer. Feel His ever abiding presence. Look back on your past and reflect on where He’s brought you from, how He’s kept you when sin tried to stomp you out, and then, give Him thanks. Ask for what you need, and believe you’ll get it, because if to no one else, you matter to Him! Know that you’re being prayed for. Yes, today, as I write this, you specifically are being prayed for! Jesus is calling out your name to the Father! Give Him thanks, in everything. In spite of whatever you face today, give thanks. The God of the universe is still your “Daddy”, and however long this takes, He’s got you! One day, one moment at a time, He’s got you; give Thanks!
Sidebar: If He puts someone on your mind, move in faith; call them, help them, pray for them! We are our brothers keeper!
Have a Thankful Thanksgiving! Happy Monday!