Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God
Christian Life

A sacrifice of thanks

REAL TALK: I am not feeling terribly thankful today.⁣

I know, my privilege is showing. Bear with me.⁣

I’m an expat. I moved to Canada in 2006 and am wildly happy here, but I always make a holiday pilgrimage back to Missouri. It’s a tradition of nostalgia and belonging that recenters me in my family of origin. It’s also the only time I see my dad and grandmothers.⁣

Except this year.⁣

Thanks to covid, I (much like so many of us) can’t make that trip. And come Saturday, it will be a whole year since I’ve set foot in my hometown. A whole year since I’ve smelled my mother’s perfume, scritched my grandma’s dog, or mocked my brother for the state of his room. ⁣

And I’m salty. Like, so salty it’s pickled my thankfulness. Puckered it right up.⁣

But the Holy Spirit doesn’t let me get away with self-pity very long. He ambushed me yesterday as I Grinchily scrolled other people’s holiday posts.⁣

“Is this really how you want to feel right now?”⁣

…no.⁣

“Do you really have nothing to be grateful for?”⁣

…no.⁣

Dammit, HS, why you gotta be like that?⁣

Does it suck that I can’t be with my people at the holidays for the first time in my entire life? Is it heartbreaking and unfair?⁣

Yes. Very.⁣

Can I be grateful for what I have—warmth, food, water, health, people, peace, privilege—while pouting about I don’t?⁣

Nope.⁣

And that’s no good for me. Or God. Or anyone, really.⁣

So this year, my holiday season is a sacrifice of praise.⁣

I don’t feel grateful. I feel salty. But rather than let my feelings ruin everything, I’ll choose to give up my self-centered sorrow and instead rejoice that no matter where I am, I’m an inseparable part of God’s family. I’ll choose to praise when I’m hurting inside, not because I feel good, but because He is good. I’ll choose to honor Him with what I have instead of whining about what I don’t.⁣

I’ll also choose to eat half a pie because there are some things covid just cannot ruin.⁣

Happy Thanksgiving, friends, wherever you are, however you’re celebrating, whoever you’re with. Choose to rejoice in all things, because He is with you.⁣

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