Ephesians 5:20 NLT
“And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Colossians 4:2 NLT
“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.”
These are the words that began the devotions on July 1st last year (2020):
“I am so thankful to be a Canadian! Especially in this pandemic time, I am thankful that our leaders ‘got on the case’ early on, and kept the rate of spread down to manageable levels. I am thankful the government has developed programs to financially assist those in need. I am thankful the majority of Canadians follow the social distancing rules and do their best to stay healthy. I am thankful for media and the ability to have face-to-face chats with family around the world.”
I can read that paragraph, and know I still am thankful for most of those things mentioned. But I sure didn’t know in July 2020 that we’d still be talking about a pandemic one year later – that “keeping the rate of spread down to manageable levels” was impossible back then. It’s been a long and difficult year!
But can we be thankful? Yes. At LSA we have a new lead pastor. We are thankful for Brian McGuffin and his family. He’s likely both thankful and impatient about the past 9 months. Impatient to get to know his new church family and get programs going, but also thankful for the time he’s been able to learn LSA’s culture, and figure out what needs to be kept and what needs to be changed.
In our personal lives, we’ve likely assessed what is important and what is not. We’ve realized how important our families and friends are, and how great it will be when we can travel and visit with them whenever we’d like. We’ve likely realized that church life is important. We may not be best friends with everyone at our church, but it’s sure nice to be able to say hello, or serve in various ways with them. We’ve probably gotten rid of a few things, and even taken a good look at our financial situation. Maybe, we’ve struggled with loneliness and depression, and hopefully found refuge in our relationship with God. It’s been a year of “overhaul”.
I can still say I am thankful to be a Canadian, but I am so much more thankful that I am a child of God.
“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.”
(Romans 8: 15 – 17 NLT)
As his child, we know he will take care of us – and has taken care of us. Nothing has happened to us that he doesn’t know about. Even in the difficult situations of this past year, he has been by our side.
Psalm 121 NLT
“I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
3 He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
5 The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
6 The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.
7 The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.”
Our song for today – Grateful by Elevation Worship