See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
[1 Thessalonians 5:15-18]
This month marks the annual observance of Thanksgiving celebrations here in Canada. Family, Food, Fun and fellowship are high on the list of what most people will take time to be thankful for.
And while sometimes it can be difficult to be really and completely thankful for brothers and sisters who won’t let your childhood discretions go even after all these years, or to be really and truly thankful for things like brussel sprouts and lima beans (even if they are good for you). All in all Thanksgiving is a pretty easy holiday to get behind.
But is that all there is to be thankful for? Food and friends and good cheer? What about being thankful for times of sickness, because it reminds me to appreciate the gifts of health and vitality God normally grants me? What about being thankful for hardships which teach me to trust in God’s grace and not my own meagre abilities to cope? What about being thankful for all those who disagree with me thus causing me to study and reaffirm my beliefs instead of just coasting along giving them little thought?
Can we be thankful for those who hate us? How else can we learn to love as God loved us … without hope or thought of return? Or how about being thankful for the death of a loved one … not that they have died, but that through the gate of death they are no longer burdened with grief and sin and pain as we are, but are resting peacefully in the Lord?
So this Thanksgiving I am going to try and be thankful for the things we don’t normally appreciate. I will be thankful not just for the things that make me happier but for the things that make me better, the things that draw me closer to God … that, and lima beans.