by Amy Pentimone
It goes without saying there are a lot of changes across our country right now. As a homeschooling family, perhaps you find yourself in your comfort zone staying home and focusing on family. Yet, there are changes for all of us, as churches wrestle with meeting options, schools and stores close temporarily, and others fear being laid off their jobs.
As I’ve scrolled social media this week, I’ve noticed an interesting contrast in my newsfeed: on one hand, there is the news (and fear) over COVID-19; and on the other hand, there is thanksgiving for many sweet blessings in the face of difficulty. It made me smile this morning because I felt like the Thanksgiving season has shown up in March!
It’s easy to give thanks when it feels like everything is going along smoothly or just the way we want. But have you ever gotten so comfortable during those easy times in life that you forgot to thank God — or forgot just how good you have it? Times of trial or less-than-desired circumstances can help bring to mind what we were tempted to forget: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights …” (James 1:17, ESV).
Springtime is still starting to settle in, and usually, I equate a season of thanksgiving with pumpkins, chilly walks, and autumn leaves. Perhaps, like me, you enjoy writing your Thanksgiving lists while curled up in a blanket, maybe while drinking some apple cider. That’s okay! Meaningful traditions for each season have a very good place … just so long as we don’t subconsciously allow them to compartmentalize life. Easter is not the only time to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, just as Christmas is not the only time to celebrate His birth. And who knew Spring 2020 would be a special time to focus on Thanksgiving?
Gratitude doesn’t pretend everything is perfect but instead takes the focus off our fleeting wants and onto a God who has graciously gifted us more than we deserve or can even count. That puts the Gospel — the good news of God becoming man to save us — at the very, very top of the gratitude lists, and then literally hundreds more blessings follow it.
Are you savoring sweet time home with your family and enjoying your normal routines of homeschooling? Or, are you struggling to think past the news, the changes, and fear of the future? We can all give thanks remembering that, whether life is sweet or difficult, God is still with us, for us, and loving us.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39, ESV)