7 I rejoice and celebrate in your faithful love
because you saw my suffering—
you were intimately acquainted with my deep distress.
8 You didn’t hand me over to the enemy,
but set my feet in wide-open spaces.
This year, we give thanks in the midst of suffering. Our gatherings are not the same as they were last year. We are perhaps missing the people we love today.
Today is a different kind of Thanksgiving than those that have gone before. Maybe today the joy just isn’t as easy for you to find somehow.
I want to say to you that it’s ok. I understand. God is not unacquainted with our distress.
The point of the day remains the same. No matter what is happening, today is a reminder that we have reason to thank God. We have reason to be grateful. No matter how easy or hard life seems, we have reason to say, “I couldn’t do this without you, Lord.”
I’d encourage you to let your Thanksgiving begin with that idea – that you can’t do this without God. And then watch and see what happens. You may be surprised to discover that God is nearer to you than you thought. And in learning that, you may be surprised to discover that joy is also nearer to you than you thought.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
See what happens when you let this idea overflow to the people you care about. Take the time to tell someone you love today: “I can’t do this without you.” See whether that admission of your dependence on and connection to God and other people helps evoke joy and gratitude in you.
Prayer: God, we know we could never do this without you. You have given us another day to share with you and people we love. And for that we are profoundly grateful. Even when things are difficult, help us to find joy and gratitude in all those whose lives are closely linked with ours. Amen.