How do we can keep the “thanks” in our Thanksgiving holiday this year?
As I was thinking about today’s devotional, I came across this verse from a message that Moses gave to the Israelites while they were in the wilderness and this verse is in the sweet juicy middle of what we need to remember in our pandemic wilderness:
For the LORD your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the LORD your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing. -Deuteronomy 2:7 NLT
As the pandemic and problems of the world drag on, Moses’ message pierces our hearts with a relevant reminder of what we are quick to forget:
God has still taken care of us this year.
Do we have problems? Yes.
But God’s provision handles our problems.
Is the future uncertain? Yep.
But God’s promises give us hope so we don’t have to fear.
Do we have control over our circumstances? Nope.
Yet, God’s power is big enough to handle what we can’t!
Can we say a collective “hallelujah” over all of this? Not only that, but giving thanks is our way of acknowledging all that God has done!
If you’ve not more grumpy than grateful OR you’re looking for a great, practical family experience on practicing gratitude, here’s a scripture-inspired activity for you!
This idea is inspired by Exodus 16 when God instructed Aaron to preserve a two-quart jar of manna in the Ark of the Covenant to remind future generations of how God provided for them. Here’s a photo of my two-quart jar inside of my time capsule. (I bought the jar from Dollar General for $3.00)
Then, I cut up a stack of 3”x3” squares of paper. I set the jar and the papers in the middle of my kitchen table so that I would see it each day. At some point during the day, I stopped to write down an observation on how God provided for me or blessed me. Sometimes, I wrote down two squares a day.
This exercise because it forced me to take the focus off myself and put it on God during my day. That refocus blessed me! Isaiah 26:3 reminds us that we live in perfect peace when we keep our minds fixed on God, so this exercise truly increased my peace and joy!
It took three months to fill the jar. Then, I set it inside of a lovely box as a time capsule, similar to God’s instructions for the manna to remain in the ark of the covenant for future generations to see. My time capsule sits in my closet. Note: I think that I’ll open it in two or three-year period. I look forward to reading the slips of paper and remembering how God was faithful to me during this long wilderness season.
I hope that you remember how God has taken care of you this year has uplifted your Monday. Before you move on to the rest of your day, here’s an invitation to reflect on the following questions:
- What is God speaking to your heart right now?
- How has God taken care of you over this past year?
- What are the ways that you can be more intentional about creating gratitude and worship for what God has done?
You are more than welcome to share your stories of God’s provision or supernatural moments. I’d love to hear those stories from you. Hit “reply” and tell me all about it.
Let’s pray together before you continue your day –
Dear God, thank You for being my provider over the past year. I’m sorry for the times when I’ve forgotten about how You’ve taken care of me. I repent of the times when I was frustrated over not having enough because I’ve forgotten all that You’ve given me. God, I want to live with a heart of gratitude. Thank You for all that You’ve done for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
God has held me upright when I’ve started to fall. I have only fallen once this whole year. That’s great for me. I have CMT (Charcot-Marie-Tooth), and I wear leg braces and either use walker or wheelchair.
Connie, what a beautiful testimony of God literally holding onto you!
I may not of had all I wanted but God has blessed me with everything and more of what I have needed. God’s will is more abundant than my desires.
I love your perspective, Sherri! God is our source of abundance!
This is a wonderful idea…thank you so much for sharing it!
God’s hands guided me through a storm I thought I would never have to go through. Just recently I had my thyroid removed due to my dr suspected that I had cancer. But God gave me peace that this was the best decision to have both sides removed. As I was waking up in the recovering room, I remember giving thanks to God for being right there with me.
Sometimes we feel that God has left us because we didn’t get what we wanted, but His timing is perfect. Never once did I feel He left my side.
Tina, while we connected via text, thank you for sharing your testimony here for others to see your story and your faith walk through a scary and uncertain situation. Celebrating the outcome with you as well as applauding your courage and faith, my friend!