I heard a sermon over the weekend that reflected on who we are giving thanks to on Thanksgiving Day. These days many people express thanks to anything but God! Don’t get me wrong here; it is certainly appropriate during this season of thankfulness to express appreciation to the people who make a big difference in your life. Just don’t confuse human contributions with the Divine blessings in your life! God alone is the author and finisher of your faith, and your Creator and Lord. All blessing, honor, praise and thanksgiving belong to Him.
God made each one of us to be who and what we are. We are all beautifully, wonderfully similar but uniquely different. We are each gifted with our own abilities, strengths, passions, and desires. These differences balance us all in the body of Christ. Perhaps you excel at something I’m not very good at, while I find it easy to do something you struggle to accomplish. We need each other to survive and thrive.
A great family caregiver can embrace this truth and lean into their own strengths while also acknowledging where they are out of their depth. Asking for help at critical times is a sign of wisdom, not weakness. Trusting that God equips each one of us with everything we need also means recognizing that we might not always be the one doing what needs to be done. Giving thanks for the many ways that God provides for us every day is just one of the things Betsy and I will be acknowledging during this week of Thanksgiving.
When Betsy was caring for her mother during Sarah’s last months, she often told me how deeply grateful she was for the professional caregivers and others in the community who came alongside and helped with her mother’s care. Companions, home helpers, hospice workers, home health providers, family members, neighbors, friends, former students, and brothers and sisters in Christ all contributed in one way or another to Sarah’s care. Some provided hands-on care and assistance, while others sat and visited with Sarah, sharing laughter, reading scripture, and praying together. Food was brought, hugs were shared, cards came in the mail, and during all of it Betsy was grateful for the help, and for the time to cherish and enrich her relationship with her mother. She knew that God sent each one of those individuals for a reason, and Sarah knew joy, laughter, comfort and peace in her last days.
During this COVID season of our lives, I encourage you to look back over the last eight months and see where God has provided exactly what you needed, exactly when you needed it. Whether your need was felt in caregiving, in parenting, in your marriage, with your job, or in your spiritual life, consider how you have experienced God’s perfect provision for your life and circumstances.
In this time to be thankful for the bountiful blessings God has given us, Betsy and I hope you’ll share your heart about giving thanks to God for the many ways he supplies your every need. Give thanks.