by Marlene Tavares
Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
(Psalm 106:1 NIV)
Autumn and Thanksgiving are now both upon us once again and I just love this time of year. There is something comforting about the Fall season and about Thanksgiving in particular. I love it because it is a time that we devote to our family and loved ones and take time to be thankful for all our blessings. Although it is true that we do not need a specific day like Thanksgiving to be surrounded by the people we love or to be thankful for our blessings since we should do this everyday, I am still glad the tradition exists. Honestly speaking, if Thanksgiving Day was not a day marked on everyone’s calendar as a day to gather with family and be reminded of all the good things in our lives, would we still do it? Probably not! It would just be another ordinary day like every other day of the year. What does this mean? It means that we would become consumed with our work, chores, appointments, and the daily buzz of busy life and not take the time to set aside for family, friends, and giving thanks. So if we look at it this way, Thanksgiving Day then does become a much needed day to do just that – be with family and give thanks.
Sometimes we also forget to give thanks not just because we are busy, but because we tend to focus on the negative things in our lives in which we are not thankful for. Our feelings of distress or despair in unfortunate circumstances can become so overbearing that we forget good things still exist in our lives too and even if we come to realize it, feeling thankful becomes difficult because we do not feel like the good outweighs the bad. I have recently gone through this myself. I have had some dark days where I have been so distressed that I do not think about or care about the good things in my life because I was consumed by the not so good things. Today, however, as I had Thanksgiving dinner with my family at my parents’ house, I was so busy laughing, chatting, and spending time with the people I love that I forgot all about my problems. By the end of the day, I realized how thankful I am to have a family and people in my life who care about me and I realized that no matter how hard things get, I will never be alone and I can always lean on them for strength and support – this is what I am most thankful for this year. My family became my escape from sadness and distress and for one day, I was able to just enjoy their presence and be thankful for all the wonderful things God has blessed me with despite the difficult times.
If you are going through a difficult situation in your life and you feel so overwhelmed by despair that you do not feel there is anything to be thankful for, just take a day to surround yourself with people you love who make you happy and those feelings will quickly fade. It may not solve all your problems, but their love and support will give you the strength you need to push forward through the darker days and pull you through anything that comes your way. You will realize that as long as you have family, you have love and where there is love there is hope, and when you find hope, you find God’s blessings and you will realize that the good always outweighs the bad – and that is always something to be thankful for.
Wishing you all and your families a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.