I was asked by a friend the other day if I was going to fake being thankful during the season of thanksgiving in this year of chaos, especially when as my friend said, there is “so little to be thankful for.” I get his question. This year has been a never ending challenge. Maybe you are asking the same thing. I get it.
My answer is “yes… and no.”
The answer is yes, definitely yes. If I’m being honest, I am faking it at least a little. Truth is, when I get in the weeds about what makes me anxious, I’m just a little bit scared. The uncertainties of tomorrow are anxiety-producing even for the most stouthearted among us. Do I need to elaborate as to why?
Didn’t think so.
I say things like “thank you Jesus for the challenges we face”, but quite frankly, I’m not feeling thankful. I consider the trial of this moment to be a pathway to joy because I am a warrior in training and that’s what warriors do, yet sometimes I can’t sleep because I am worried about my family. I know it says in James 1: 2-4, “Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
But how do I do that? I DON’T FEEL JOYFUL. Are you crazy?
So, “yes. I am faking it.” I don’t feel joyful when facing tomorrow. Quite frankly, I’m more than just a little bit spooked by the unknowns. Those are the facts. However…
“Heck NO!” I an NOT faking it. I am really thankful.
I can so relate to the words of David the giant slayer when he “can’t stop thinking about (God’s) mighty works”. He seems to be looking ahead to God’s deliverance. I get that too. I can’t wait to see how Jesus will deliver me once again from the fear of the unknown and the confidence to walk one day at a time.
Check it out. In the midst of a very hard time in his life, King David says
“This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.”
But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
They are constantly in my thoughts.
I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works. Psalm 77:10-12
I have been face down in very difficult times several times in my life. But the advantage of being a true Christ-follower is perspective. And I have learned with the psalmist, that it’s true. God has been very real, very personal and he has made himself known to me in every circumstance, especially when I needed his deliverance most. Because of his track record of past deliverance, I do not believe he’ll ever abandon me nor leave me to face tomorrow alone. He’s always a few steps ahead of the Enemy.
And for that I am truly thankful.
Billy Graham was once asked if he was afraid to die. I was surprised by his answer, which was “yes and no.” He was just being honest. He was afraid to die because he’d never done that before but confident that when the time would come, that grace would be there for crossing over Jordan.
Even Jesus in his humanness sweat drops of blood at the thought of facing the cross, yet he totally trusted his Father for all they had been through together. And knew that his Father could be trusted.
So final answer? “Yes and No!”
Something to think about.