Thankful?  Seriously?

It’s been 6 days since it seems like the world changed.

But in reality, it didn’t change as much as the evil that is in the world jumped up and slapped us across the face.

The evil was already there.   In Syria, in Egypt, in Saudi Arabia, in Iraq, in Iran, in Nigeria, in the United States, on Facebook, on Twitter.   The evil is already there.   The evil is already here.

For those of us in the USA, a week from today is Thanksgiving.   A day that we’re supposed to set aside and eat too much, watch too much football and be thankful for all that we have.

How do we give thanks when the world seems to be crumbling around us?

How do we give thanks when those we thought were friends are spouting ideas and feelings we can’t agree with?

How do we give thanks when people are dying on the open sea literally running for their lives?

How do we give thanks when a lot of the state governors are sending distinctly mixed and controversial messages about refugees from Syria.  

  • It appears that they are saying, “We don’t want Syrian refugees, we don’t want more Muslims in our state.”   
  • We hope that what they really mean is, “We don’t believe that the Federal government can process the refugee requests for this many refugees and do it in a way that helps them and keeps us safe, so let’s stop and figure out a better way.”

A couple of ways we can be thankful this coming week, not inspite of these struggles but because of them.

  • Be thankful that people care.   Even though there are huge discrepancies in how people think that the refugees should be cared for, I have yet to hear anyone say that they should just be left to fend for themselves.  The world has woken up to the plight of the refugees and that in and of itself is a reason for thanks.
  • Be thankful that God gives you the means and the gifts to share with others.   Whether it is helping the refugees or supporting an adoptive parent or giving to a local homeless shelter, we all have the ability to do something.
  • Be thankful for the small things in life.   The quiet of a new sunsrise.   The hug of a child. The smile from a spouse.  Don’t lose the small picture because of the big and really scary and really noisy picture.

Be thankful for love.   God’s love for us.   Our love for those around us.   But also the love that God calls us to show and live and give to others.   Those others might be nearby or far away.   It might mean direct “in your face” sit with them in the oncology department while their loved one fades away.   It might mean being a listening ear over social media to a friend who is far away but is struggling.   It might mean stepping way out of your comfort zone to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

God is love.  God shows us love whether we deserve it or not.   We need to follow His example.

To quote one of my favorite authors/speakers and attorneys, Bob Goff,  

“Love Wins”