It is Thanksgiving Day – a great time to celebrate with family and friends the many ways we have seen God at work in our lives. We’ve probably all been in those gatherings where we’ve gone around the table and shared the things that we are thankful for. As Christians it is a good practice to make a habit of, as the old kids song goes “count(ing) your many blessings see what God has done”.
But then there are some stories that remind us of the challenge of 1 Thessalonians 5.18 which says “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT) It is easy to be thankful of great things that are happening (new job, upcoming wedding, growing closer to God, health and strength and daily bread, etc). But can you be thankful in the hard things, the challenging parts of life? I came across the story of Devin McCourty of the Patriots. He and Twin Brother Jason, who plays for the Titans, are solid NFL players and have been since they were drafted in 2010 and 2009 respectively.
But as you can read in this article from Insightful Players, The McCourty brothers have faced some very hard things. Losing their dad when they were 3 and having their mom injured and unable to work for much of their childhood, there had to be struggles that I can’t begin to wrap my head around. But as you can read in the article, Devin was able to find some positive in that – like the support of his mom, who was able to come to almost every game he played and cheer him on. And he knew that much of who he was becoming, was from his dad (like his love for sports, his work ethic and inspiration to play for more than just himself). You can watch the video below and hear McCourty talk about Faith in God helping him get through life’s challenges.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving Day? If we remember back to the settlers at the first thanksgiving, they were celebrating that they had survived a long hard first year in the new world. Many others had not survived. They were also thanking the neighbors that had helped them along through the hard times. Let’s remember to thank God in good times and in bad. Good, because He is good and has the best plan for our lives, and bad, because it forces us to depend on God, and we can see Him at work, in the hard times and grow closer to Him because He is still good and He still has a plan..
Happy Thanksgiving – May we be grateful for ALL that He is doing!