I cannot believe today is Thanksgiving 2020! My heart is so full today of gratitude for so many things. I know it has been a difficult year. We have all struggled with things none of us could really have imagined would happen to us just a few years ago. My life has changed drastically in the last three years. For me, the changes have been good….HARD…..but good. I know many more people who have suffered many tragedies and losses. I have had my own. You need not think that I am exempt and that my life is happy and rosy while everyone else is suffering. That has not been the case. But the hard changes have blessed my life. We are still in the middle of our hard changes….the blessings are still coming….we still have work to do.
Through it all, up to this point, I have been able to see the Lord’s hand in my life. I have recognized that things I believed were stones and serpents really were bread and fish. I just didn’t see them that way. It has taken me time to see value in those very difficult experiences. I have needed to change my perspective, or my behavior to see the blessings, and experience the benefits. I have needed what some might refer to as ‘an attitude adjustment’.
I know the Lord gives these things to me….the difficulties as well as the blessings, because He loves me. He knows what I can become. He knows what experiences I need to get there. I don’t like His experiences. They are hard and often painful. But as I hold onto Him, I become what He sees. And after the fact, I see it. I would never see it if I didn’t choose to hold on to Him through the difficulties. I might resent having to change or leaving things or people I love. I try to keep the things I think are worth keeping, instead of trusting Him to give me greater things, and being willing to sacrifice the things I think are ‘so important’. It is fine, usually, when the objects are things…..more difficult when those things are people. I have been asked to let go of some of my people and to trust that God knows and loves them too and it is not my job or within my ability to save my people. That was always His job…..and He needs me to do other things….with other people. That has been super hard for me, because I love all of the people and I don’t want to give up any. I am just a little selfish that way.
I am learning to trust God’s love for me, and for all of the people I love and am concerned about. I cannot make other people do or choose what I want. That is hard for me. Not because I need them to do things my way, but I want them to be happy and I know happiness comes from making righteous choices. But not everyone agrees with me….so they have to be free to make the choices they want to make…which they believe will bring them the happiness they want. But that is not always the case and sometimes I have to watch them suffer because of the choices they have made. That breaks my heart.
But God knew we would make those choices…they would make some, and I would make some. And we would not be happy with the consequences of the choices we made. So He provided a way that we could changes things. He gave us His Son….because He loves us. His Son suffered unimaginable things, so we might not suffer if we would change. He did that because of His love for us….the Son’s love for us…..God’s love, and His Son’s love. He knew we would need to learn by our own experiences, and not the knowledge or understanding of another. Sometimes our mistakes would hurt the people we love, including ourselves. We would need to have enough love to trust God and His Son and make changes, changes that would be painful. But changes that would be necessary for us to become love.
I wonder how the world would change if everyone’s only motive was love…..love like Theirs.
It was all brought about because of love…..because of Their love, so we could learn to love, TRUE love….the kind of love where we put another person’s needs above our own, like They did.
Today, this Thanksgiving? I am grateful for Their love and for the experiences that are teaching me how to love…the way They do.