Thanksgiving is my husband’s favorite holiday! I honestly don’t understand why.
Typically at the end of Thanksgiving Day I find myself sick from too much food (that I promised myself I wouldn’t eat), tired from chasing children who didn’t have a decent nap all day and facing a long drive home.
Yet as I was thinking last night about holidays and all the complicated situations they can bring into our lives, I realized:
There’s always something I can complain about.
Did you think I was going to talk about being thankful? ;)
There are these thoughts that work their way into my mind, not just around the holidays, but basically any time of the year. Maybe you’ve experienced them too, just fill in the blanks with your own thoughts:
I’d be happier if I lived _____________.
We could buy _____ if we made $_____.
If only I had good mommy friends that I could do _______ with.
My husband isn’t appreciated in his job. It would be better for him if he worked at ______.
I’m not appreciated as a mom. If my children were more ______, our home would be a peaceful place.
I really wish ______ wouldn’t be at our Thanksgiving celebration or at Christmas dinner.
Why did God allow _______ to happen to me? Doesn’t He know I need _______?
Maybe I’ll stop now.
I’m not sure why I continue to think this way. After all, there are plenty of reasons “thankfulness challenges” on social media, sermons preached, and even crafts my kids do that point me in the “right direction”. And yet, I am dissatisfied.
Is it possible that this is because I’m always reaching for the next illusive success? Waiting to have my ducks all in a row and things just the way I want them and then I’ll take the time to be appreciative and content?
At that time, I’ll finally be able to sit back (in my expensive lounge chair on my beautiful deck overlooking the mountains, of course) and say “I am satisfied.”
I think, even as I sit in my hard backed dining room chair, typing on my old, dying laptop while observing the current 22 degree cloudy day out my drafty picture window, that the answer is a NO ;)
You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you. –St. Augustine
Because even if I got things the way I “wanted”, I’d always find something to complain about. It’s human nature, part of living in a fallen condition. Perhaps that’s what I need though sometimes, the awareness of my own restlessness that can never be given peace through money, circumstance or worldly success.
I wish it could be that way. I wish my human accomplishments and having things exactly how I think they should be could make me more than temporarily happy and fulfilled. But the truth is, I am always in need of God. So are you.
And this time of year reminds me of this truth, probably because all those thankfulness memes and Scripture verses shared so often during the Thanksgiving season cut to the heart of who I really am. Someone who finds it easier to flippantly complain than to purposefully give thanks.
Thankfully there is so much grace for us–what a blessing that we as believers do not have to strive for a thankful heart on our own.
God is good, friends, He is good all the time, even when life doesn’t make sense. His Word says as much, and that is where we find our true source of gratitude. It is not in circumstance or in our own efforts to be as thankful as we can, but in the Scriptures.
I need that reminder time and time again–it is what gives me hope that God can fill me with a new heart of praise! I pray that you can have this hope as well, during this season of thanksgiving and the joy of advent, preparation, soon beginning.
Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.
Even so, Lord, quickly come,
bring thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels come,
raise the glorious harvest home.