Congratulations! You survived preparing a great Thanksgiving meal, entertaining wonderful and even wacky loved ones, and the madness of Black Friday which has now become ‘Black Thursday’.
And the hoopla continues today on Cyber Monday.
If you are like me, you graciously resisted the in-store shopping and peacefully surfed for online deals. By the way, click here if you are still browsing for great deals.
But I need to ask you a serious question: How do you feel RIGHT now?
Are you still in a thankful mode? Were you truly in one during the holiday?
Could it be that you are feeling drained, fearful, worried or sad?
If so, you are not alone. Many people deal with the holiday blues without even realizing it. As wonderful as it is to enjoy cooking, eating, decorating and spending quality time with family, these positives can be extremely stressful.
And when you add other stressors going on in your life such as dealing with past or present grief, financial hardship and family obligations it can really divert your focus from the real meaning of the season.
The reality is that the facets of life will flow in different directions causing streams of multiple emotions and crises in our lives. But when life does not flow as we expected, this does not diminish the things we have to be thankful for.
The Bible declares that He “will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is stayed on him” (Isaiah 26:3).
When our thoughts are redirected on our current unpleasant circumstances, it is easy to transition from a thankful person to one who is angry, bitter, discouraged and overwhelmed.
And let me be clear before reminding you of an important point. Even when life flows in opposition to our needs or desires, God does not dismiss our pain or spectrum of emotions. He understands them better than we do.
However, He does not want us to become consumed by them.
Regardless of how bad we think our situation is there is someone else who is dealing with much worse. There is someone dealing with what we have already survived, but think that their situation is hopeless.
You see, we can stay thankful by remaining grateful. Not grateful because things could be worse, but because despite how our minds play games with us, there are blessings in our lives that we are benefiting from.
If we take our minds off of God’s goodness, His promises and His provision for us then we will not be able to see beyond our current crises. We will not be at peace, rather, we will be focused on fear.
Remember that God declared for us to give thanks in everything (1 Thess. 5:18).
This seems impossible to do while we are going through the valley of the unknown. But we must discipline ourselves to do so for our well-being.
As you move forward in this season that reminds us to be thankful, do not focus on the bills that are due, satisfying the material desires of children, the endless devastating news reports or deadlines you must meet.
Instead, every day, intentionally focus on at least one thing that you have to be thankful for. At least one positive thing that is present in your life.
Release a thankful praise and you will receive more things to be thankful for because it will be revealed to you!
Join me in my series on Joy this December by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org