Thanksgiving Day can be overwhelming for some of us.
We’re jumping from family gathering to family gathering as our group chats blow up with random messages.
It’s also a day that can be underwhelming for others of us. We may find our house more quiet than we want it to be. We may be away from family and friends and spend the day wondering what others are up to.
Everyone’s Thanksgiving Day will look and feel different. But there is a common axiom we can all share today: We can be thankful.
Yes, it’s cliché and yes, we should be thankful everyday, but it’s still true: We can and should be thankful today.
Whether you’re busy running around the house or bored in bed, here are 7 simple things you and I can give thanks for today:
1. We’re Breathing
It’s easy to dismiss the preciousness of life. This can be especially true when things go south or when we compare our lives to others.
But life itself is an amazing gift.
The breath we breathe at this very moment is given to us by God Himself (Acts 17:25)!
2. We’re Rich
We may not think we’re rich in comparison to the person in our Instagram story, but we’re unbelievably rich in comparison to the rest of the world.
While many others today are concerned about whether there will be enough food for the day, many of our concerns will be whether we ate too much.
With turkey on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes on our back, we must be content in our luxuries (1 Timothy 6:8).
3. We’re Not Alone
Yes, we may feel alone, but that doesn’t mean we’re truly alone.
Sure, we may have to get through awkward discussions with our broken families today while checking our phones to see what our friends are up to, but at the end of the day, family is still family, and our friends are but a phone call away.
We could all use more connection and be more greatly understood, but that doesn’t mean we’re alone. Jesus surely didn’t think so (Matthew 28:20).
4. We’re witnesses to an unstoppable Kingdom
Our world is swirling with an unbearable amount of painful news. When will the next shooting occur? What’s the latest word on race relations? It’s endless.
And yet, we can know God holds everything in perfect control at this precise moment. His plan will not, and cannot, be thwarted (Isaiah 14:27).
Every brokenness we see today is still on track for God’s purposes.
5. We’re Walking Miracles
Yes, our spiritual journey may be far from where we want it to be, but it’s far from where we used to be.
Not too long ago, we were dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1). But the Holy Spirit has miraculously resurrected us from the dead (Titus 3:5), entering the core of our being (Romans 8:15), on account of sheer grace through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8), whom God sent on our behalf to pay for the penalty of our sins in cosmic reconciliation.
God doesn’t hold our sins against us. He not only forgives us, but delights in us. He is committed to changing us into His image. He will bring us to perfection in glory. We’re walking miracles!
6. We Get To Truly Experience Life
We experience victories, failures, and everything in between.
The thriving life isn’t one that only experiences “the good,” but it is also the life that experiences the full range of circumstances and emotions with Jesus. We cry, we laugh, we feel alone, but all of it in relationship to Jesus.
Life that is truly life, is the life of knowing God (John 17:3).
7. We’re Invited to a greater mission
If life were all about collecting toys, paychecks, and likes, then it would be depressing to know it all boils down to a race of accumulation.
But we’ve been given a grace of commission, the Great Commission, which rebrands all of life (Matt 28:18-20).
Whether we head back to the grind of work or school, volunteer at church, or consider summer missions, we can live inspired lives that see beyond ourselves.
Let’s take a moment today and give thanks.
Gratitude is not on account of the circumstances of fortune, but a choice of faith.
Faith to see all that Jesus is and all that He has done on our behalf, whether we feel it or not.
Steve Bang Lee is the college & teaching director at Living Hope Community Church and serves as the Editorial Director for SOLA Digital. Check out his blog at https://www.bangblogs.org/.