Recently I got an email from a friend letting me know that her father had passed away early that morning.
Another friend sent a notice asking for prayer for her family after the passing of her uncle.
A facebook from another girlfriend recounted a tragic accident that suddenly claimed a family member.
And at work, a colleague announced that a long, degenerative illness had finally ended in the death of his wife.
Add to that several serious illnesses in and among my family and friends and the seriousness of life begins to weigh heavily.
Whether it’s health concerns, work problems, or changes in relationships, major (and even minor) issues in our lives often cloud our perspective, causing us to focus on what we don’t have and to forget completely about what we do have.
At this point, it’d be easy to drop into another recycled Thanksgiving musing on the benefits of listing all the positive things that fill our lives… like health, a job, food on the table, and a place to live. While those are certainly blessings that we shouldn’t take for granted, they are also things that can disappear in an instant. For believers to regard those things as our primary reasons for gratitude and for giving thanks unintentionally anchors our affections to this life.
Instead, this Thanksgiving, I want to encourage us to adopt the attitude of King David and use this season as an opportunity to lift your eyes to the Lord. Instead of being overwhelmed and consumed with the discouragements of this life (and you WILL have them as long as you live), mediate on the first five verses of Psalm 103. Remind yourself of your eternal blessings… that through Christ, are yours now, and can never be taken away.
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all His benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.