It’s Thanksgiving–a celebration of joy, gratitude, family, and delicious food. And while I plan on spending time with loved ones and going into a turkey coma, I can’t help but think of those who are overlooked this season.
You see, I know a woman whose teenage son died last weekend. Her heart is broken. I also know a family whose father is slowly dying of cancer. Their spirits are weary.
Where is the Thanksgiving turkey for these people? Most of the time we struggle to find gratitude in our everyday lives (myself included). How does remembering these hurting souls help us in cultivating a heart of gratitude?
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, (Isaiah 61:1 NIV)
God has given us a calling to bring the good news of the Gospel to others. Our calling is to feed the hungry, love the outcast, and comfort the brokenhearted.
However, we are so easily distracted by everyday problems that we don’t even notice those who are hurting right in front of us. We all go through seasons of hardship and loss. Right now I am battling a chronic illness, and sometimes I just want to lock myself in my room and focus on how bad I feel.
But the best way to experience healing and joy is by sharing the Gospel and helping somebody else.
(Photograph by Rachel Hill)
The moment we turn our focus outward and love the people around us is the moment we experience the love of Christ flowing through us. The moment we stop focusing on all of our problems and dedicate time to encourage others is the moment we experience an overflow of gratitude.
That’s powerful! Imagine shining a light by praying for someone you know is hurting, or volunteering to feed the hungry. Imagine inviting a person who has no place to go to your Thanksgiving dinner. Even a simple text message of encouragement makes more of an impact than we realize.
This, lovely one, is how you love your neighbor. And this is how you cultivate true gratitude.
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:15 NIV)
Thanks for reading and happy Thanksgiving! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂
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