Thankful For What?

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is tomorrow? It seems like we just stood up from the laden table last year! But here it is again, that time of year when our entire nation pauses to thank God for the blessings He's given them. Or has He given them? How many people are truly thankful right now? Everything around us seems to be falling apart. Half the country is definitely not thankful for our president-elect. There is rioting in the streets, controversy on Broadway, and social media feuds. This doesn't even begin to cover shootings, gang violence, traffic accidents, natural disasters, and so many other things that will leave thousands of people hurting tomorrow. This time of year is especially hard for those who are alone, left to heat up something in the microwave before consuming it on a worn-out TV tray.

Maybe you fit into one of the categories above. Maybe you don't feel like you have anything to be thankful for. If so, you're definitely not alone. The apostle Paul could relate. He was a man who had been beaten with the whip five times and with the rod three times, stoned and left for dead, shipwrecked three times, one of which left him adrift on the open ocean for an entire night and day, placed in prison for years, and finally had his head taken off by a sword. Yet, he had the audacity to tell the Thessalonians: "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Is it possible to be alone with the world crashing in around us and still be thankful? What if you have nothing to be thankful for? If this sounds like you, I want to direct your gaze to a rocky hill where the silhouette of a cross is etched against the sky. Our Lord and Savior, alone and nearly friendless, is hanging there because He loves you so much. He would rather die than live in heaven without you. And as you gaze upon His face, I hope you fall to your knees in recognition that, if nothing else, this is something you should always be thankful for.

Thankful for the cross,

Pastor Sutherland