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Why Give Thanks In A Year Like 2020?

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
Psalms 107:1

If you’ve read my most recent posts you know this year has been hard, not just for me obviously, but for a lot of us.

It’s been a year filled with so much, frustration, loss, and pain…

– a year where the world has been and continues to be tested…

– a year that has left us all (if we’re being honest) a little bit jaded and afraid.

For those of us who struggle with anxiety, it’s been especially terrifying. Our worst imagined fears, suddenly and unexpectedly coming to pass, acting as a silent enemy that was all around us yet unseen…

– questions without answers…

– answers that left us confused as to their validity and honesty…

– days where the question was “is this real?”, only to be replaced by “how do you not know this is real?”… until it finally touches you.

– followed by uncertainty of when or if it will ever end…

– fear of the future because of the changes happening in the “powers that be”…

– still more uncertainty because you just aren’t sure what the truth is anymore…

– finally realizing that, maybe just maybe, it’s all just been a very sick game in which we’re all pawns…

– and then perhaps the outcome was planned all along…

– is it all just smoke and mirrors?

Give thanks you say…

For what?

After everything 2020 has brought, what could there possibly be to be thankful for?

I’ll tell ya.

For me, as a person of faith, I can be thankful because God is good and his mercy toward me knows no end. You may say “Jeff, you just lost your Dad to this silent invisible enemy”. To that I say, “He’s still good”. You could say “My neighbors can’t even speak to each other in civil tones anymore”. I will say “He’s still good”. You might say “Fear continues to grip the world because of all this uncertainty”. But I will insist “He’s still good”. You say “But, even families are at odds with each other over their differences”. But I know “He’s still good”.

This year could be called the year of the great divide. It seems like lines have been drawn everywhere. But… No matter what your beliefs are, we need to find a way to come together. We need to accept the tragedies that we’ve all experienced; face the trauma, the uncertainty, and the fear. We need to replace those feelings with love for our neighbor, love for humanity, love for ourselves, and hope for the future; because, he’s still good and his mercy endures forever.

For the things we thought we’d never get through, somehow there is a light at the end of the path. I know, because I’ve experienced it first hand. I didn’t think I’d ever be whole again, but I’m getting there slowly. Let me be very clear, I’m still a mess. I still have fears and concerns and I still miss my Dad so very much. Nevertheless, I have hope and I am learning to give thanks even in the tragedy.

We have to start somewhere. We have to keep moving. Focus on the good, whatever that may be for you, even if it’s the tiniest of things. I’m not here to push my faith on you. I’m just telling my story from my perspective. The one thing I know is that no matter what, the greatest healer of all things is love. It’s that truth that helps me and heals me every day, drawing from both the love from my past and the present. Know where you are, remember where you came from, and let love see you through.

This will be the first Thanksgiving without my Dad. I feel robbed of his presence this year, but I will honor him on one of his favorite days by giving thanks and resting in the knowledge that he and my heavenly father both love me deeply.

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