29 November, 2022

Thanksgiving in All Circumstances

by | 14 November, 2022

By Manndi Maphies Wilkins 

This time of year is always festive. Spirits seem a little brighter and thanksgiving flows freely in our hearts. Or does it?  

While some look forward to huge family get-togethers, football, and tables full of mouth-watering masterpieces, others are facing loss or pain during this holiday season.  Perhaps it’s the first Thanksgiving or Christmas without a spouse. Or a joyful gathering to include celebration of a pregnancy has turned into a devastating time as a young couple faces heartache and loss. Perhaps a job loss has left a father desperate to pay for his children’s Christmas gifts. Or the company’s normally big bonus has become a one-year membership in the jelly of the month club (as in the holiday classic, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation).  

Thanksgiving is a time to take stock—to look around at the blessings we often take for granted and truly focus on how much we have. For some, thanksgiving may not come as naturally this year as in the past. Yet we are told in Scripture to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). 

Pain makes us appreciate comfort.  

Hurt makes us appreciate healing.  

Loss makes us appreciate what we have.  

Sacrifice makes us appreciate what we gain.  

Jesus’ death and resurrection opened up the whole world to his great love, making eternal life possible for all of us. 

Even in the midst of pain and suffering, loss and grief, we can give thanks to the Savior who lived among humanity and died a violent death for the forgiveness of our sins and promise of eternal life in Heaven. 

As we eat the bread, let us remember Jesus’ body, hanging on the cross. And as we drink the juice, let us remember the precious life-giving blood poured out for many. Let us truly give thanks for the greatest act of love ever known.  

Manndi Maphies Wilkins works for the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Pharmacy. She is also a freelance writer. 

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