It’s autumn. My favorite time of the year. Along with sweater weather, leaves changing to shades of crimson, pumpkin spiced everything, endless “I’m thankful” posts from everyone in my Facebook newsfeed, lots and lots of rain, bonfires with friends, sunsets at 5pm, and crispy cool starry nights, it’s the season to be thankful.
With all of the holidays coming up, and the end of the year in sight, and this is the time of the year that I always pause and reflect on how much has happened in the past months. I am always in awe of how much has changed and how far God has brought me.
With school, and family, and just everything that comes with life, things gets crazy and I rarely stop to appreciate all the blessings in my life. So this is the time of the year that I usually try to refocus, and start making my list of things I’m grateful for. My thought process always goes something like “Well, this week was less hectic than last week, so I’m thankful for that” or “I’m thankful that my family is healthy” or “I’m thankful that I have more than those kids in Africa”. You know how it goes.. I’m thankful for the good times.
But this year I started thinking a little differently.. As I am getting older, I am starting to see more of the hardships that come with life, and I wondered if thankfulness was only for those with happy lives. What if this week was more hectic than last? What if my family wasn’t healthy? What if I had less than everyone else? Should I still be thankful? Was it possible? What if over the past year the negative finally outweighed the positive, what if there were more times of sorrow than laughter? What about all the people that have it rough? How are they to be thankful when there seems to be nothing worthy of giving thanks?
Psalm 118:1 says that we aren’t to give thanks only for the times that are happy, it says to give thanks because He is good, and because His steadfast love endures forever.
Thanksgiving is not just for the autumn season, but for every day for Christians. We can be thankful regardless of our circumstances. When we’re weak, He is good. When we fail, He is good. When we are faithless, He is good. When we’re stressed and running around 100mph trying to accomplish everything we’re involved in, He is good. Even when our family is sick and suffering, even when we’re dealing with sorrow and pain, even if you’re hurting and broken and cringing at the thought of what this next year could bring, He is good. His love is steadfast. His goodness is not dependent on anything. He is ALWAYS good. And because He is always good, we can always give thanks.
So this thanksgiving season, as you’re sipping your pumpkin spice latte and purposely going out of your way to crunch the fallen leaves and pinecones as you walk along (if you don’t do this, you’re missing out), remember that your thankfulness isn’t dependent on anything other than His goodness and love. And that His goodness and love are steadfast, never faltering, and always perfect. He didn’t command us to be thankful, and then send us into a world of grief and brokenness and insist that we find the silver lining, He commanded us to be thankful, and then gave us His goodness, love, faithfulness, and very life through His only Son. He sacrificed everything to give us every reason to be thankful.