As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, the year 2020 might very well not bring about the natural emotion of thankfulness.
Surely, this has been a most difficult year for many in our country and around the world. We have all been affected in some way by COVID-19. Some have lost loved ones; some have lost income; and some have fought depression for months on end of isolation.
We could go on about all of the effects, but wallowing in misery, of course, does not change anything. Rather, what I have challenged our church to see is the thread of what God has done during this time.
During 2020, I believe God has reminded us of our need for relationships, and the significance of them in our lives and on our health. I believe God has given us an opportunity to step back and reflect on life and what is most important to us.
I believe God has given many of us a chance to spend much more time with family, as many were forced to work from home.
For me, God has reminded me that I far too often am distracted by the less important and miss that which is most important.
During even the most troubling of times, we can find opportunities to thank God for what He is doing. When Christ healed the 10 lepers (Luke 17), He expressed disappointment that only one would return giving thanks.
We need to remember to thank God when He works and moves, but that’s really the easy part, isn’t it? What is much more difficult is to thank Him when we don’t feel like it, when we don’t see Him working, or when it appears as though He does not hear or see us in our predicament.
The apostle Paul knew this struggle. His obedience to God’s call on his life had taken him through much difficulty: persecution, torture, shipwreck, poverty, imprisonment and eventually death. And yet, in this midst of difficulty and from the confines of prison, he wrote to the Church in Colossae (Colossians 3:15), “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Paul passed on to us what he discovered through his difficulty in life: thankfulness comes from the ability to find peace, and peace come from faith in Christ.
When we have faith in the God who is sovereign over the storms of life, we find the ability to thank God even for what He is doing in the midst of the storm.
Other than the fact that it’s coming to an end, what can you thank God for in regard to the forever memorable 2020?
Brett Myers is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church on Hilton Head Island. FBCHHI.org