Give thanks, keep life in perspective

Posted: Friday, November 06, 2009

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 106:1b

This particular verse is found not just in Psalm 106, but throughout the psalms as a reminder to God's people that their regular communication with God should be filled with thanksgivings to God for all the ways in which He has blessed them. It is a reminder to me that it should not just be on Thanksgiving Day that I should be thankful, but rather I should be thankful every day of my life. But, it does not always happen that way.

Sometimes, I feel like Lucy from the Peanuts comic strip.

I'd be willing to bet that sometimes you feel like Lucy, too. Just a few days before Thanksgiving, years ago, Lucy is found lamenting,

"My life is a drag. I'm completely fed up. I've never felt so low in my life."

Her younger brother, Linus, tries to make her feel better by saying, "Lucy, when you're in a mood like this, you should try to think of things you have to be thankful for. In other words, count your blessings."

Lucy responds by saying, "Ha! That's a good one! I could count my blessings on one finger! I've never had anything and I never will have anything. I don't get half the breaks that other people do. Nothing ever goes right for me! And you talk about counting blessings! You talk about being thankful! What do I have to be thankful for?"

Linus responds in a great way, "Well, for one thing, you have a little brother who loves you."

Lucy runs and hugs her little brother as tears are streaming down her face, and while she's hugging him tightly, Linus says, "Every now and then, I say the right thing." (Robert Short, The Gospel According to Peanuts, John Knox Press 1964; p. 23)

How many of us are feeling the way that Lucy felt? How many of us are struggling this year and wondering where the blessings are? How many of us feel like Linus who tries to be there for those who are struggling and reminding people of their many blessings?

Rather than focusing on giving thanks to God on Thanksgiving Day, let's use every day in November of 2009 to count our blessings and give thanks to God for all that He has done in each of our lives.

Let's be an encouragement to those who are feeling frustrated. Let's have the attitude of gratitude throughout every day.

Giving thanks won't necessarily change the circumstances in which we find ourselves, but giving thanks to God will help us to keep our circumstances in proper perspective.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever!

Rev. Laura P. Skiba is the pastor at North Star United Methodist Church.

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