Whenever I think of the state of the world, my heart sinks, and I wonder if there is any hope left for humanity.
It is easy to forget because my eyes and ears become overwhelmed by the thick curtain of despair.
But it is then that I remember that over 2000 years ago, someone gave up their life by way of the cross,
unfair, unjustified, and dead for the forgiveness of our sins. His death was the destruction of all things twisted and wrong.
Every pain we could ever imagine, like the death of a child, disease, violence, divorce, and imprisonment.
We all get the point. Life here is hard at times.
But every despicable act was covered once and for all for the one who’d believe.
His life for ours, the perfect man, the spotless lamb.
His final exchange from death to life.
The life that you and I could never attain is now available for those of us who believe.
Things aren’t redeemed, but we are.
We will experience destruction and face the sting of loss, but He won’t, for He has already conquered death.
That same death that you and I will never experience because of Him. This is our hope.
We are alive here and then.
And the challenge becomes can we anchor ourselves in those spiritual facts so that we can see past this world?
Past this world and into Heaven the Kingdom of God, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”
That truth is precisely the certainty of His help.
When we find ourselves in that pain, we want Jesus to take it away, but He doesn’t, instead,
He will sit with us in it.
He doesn’t leave and bail when things here get rough. He chooses to stay.
It is in this faithfulness where I see His predictable patterns.
He will never leave me or forsake me.
And He won’t leave you either.
I am thankful for that.
The one person I count on is Jesus. I depend on the one who can make my life better just by being in my midst.
Circumstances are dire for us; you and I cannot deny or sugar coat that.
Death and destruction are part of our human life.
Every season of rebirth requires death, and every beginning will one day have an ending.
Chances are, when said and done, who will still stand?
It will be us.
And as I reflect on Fall and the power behind its destruction and beauty.
All the trees must face stripping to make way for the new.
We do too.
Autumn is showing us the art of letting go and embracing what is left.
What if we can see past the losses and focus on the colors and different shades of life?
What if we decide to be grateful despite the losses and the pain?
Our eyes can see a collateral beauty that nothing else would ever compare to otherwise.
We can look past the circumstantial evidence and into the hope of a future that will bring forth a new beginning.
Some things seem like death on the surface, but they are life for those who believe.
Jesus died, but then He resurrected.
The world will make us think that death is the ultimate loss, and in reality, it is only the beautiful new beginning.
It’s hard to look at life by the things we own or relationships we hang on to.
We must let go of how things are supposed to be in our minds.
It is in death, divorce, the loss of a job, the loss of a dream, and every failure that this season highlights that you and I must find our gratitude.
If we open our eyes, there are many things we can still be grateful for.
No matter how you’ll spend this Thanksgiving, look for the higher things.
The invisible things are waiting for us to pause and acknowledge that we have so much to be thankful for in truth.
I am grateful for you, friend.
I am grateful for my health.
I am grateful for the words that God instills in me to give away.
I am grateful for the leaves, for they show me that letting go holds the promise of tomorrow’s rebirth.
I am grateful for the faithful love of Jesus, I am never alone, and I am always part of something greater than me.
I could go on, but now I invite you to write your own.
And let this practice be the healing balm of your loss and loneliness, your lack, and your pain.
You matter, your heart is alive, and it is loved by He who formed you.
That in itself is a lot to be thankful for.
Just like trees, we are transient and await renewal.
Do you perceive it?