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Happy Thanksgiving to you all my brothers and sisters in the Lord. As I often say, each time I think deep, I always end up feeling that my tank is full of God’s blessings and therefore have no other recourse but to be thankful. I trust that especially in this year 2020, where many people have personally felt its ups and downs, you feel the need to be thankful. It has been a very long year, although the Lord has not added a single minute to it. It has however felt that way. If we do the needful and think just a little deeper, we find that there is so much to thank God for.
Our God is awesome and deserves all our praise and gratitude. Where and how do we start from, to measure the fullness of God’s blessings? When we look back at our lives this year, despite the dark clouds that showed up once in a while, it has been God all along. When we look at how His Word has guided us, comforted us, and given us hope (Hebrews 4:12), being alive at this time is a testimony to how His grace has been sufficient for us and how His power is made perfect in our weaknesses. For many of us who have had health challenges this year, especially the Covid-19 challenge, these challenges have helped us to build strength and character. For those who have lost loved ones, we now know beyond any doubt that only He could have kept us standing. What about the family He has given each of us, whether by blood or faith, they have always been there for us and made our lives quite meaningful. We are surrounded by love and His peace, what else can one ask?
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night” (Psalm 92:1-2 – NKJV). I pray that this will be your portion on this day of intentional thanksgiving. I know it is not the typical Thanksgiving this year because many of us are celebrating it without the kids at home as would usually be the case; another one of the curve balls the year 2020 threw at us. I pray however that in spite of whatever you may have been through in this year 2020, that you are ultimately strengthened by God’s peace and that your hearts are renewed by His joy such that your focus will be turned away from whatever issues you have and back to God where it should be on a day like this.
The Bible says “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” – Psalm 150:6. We are not here by our own power and as long as we still have breath, we must continue to give Him thanks and praises. In this Thanksgiving season, we all must continue to reflect on our lives and know that we are still here because God still wants us around. If He still wants us here, it must be because there are things we still need to accomplish. There are plans He has for us that we must still get done. Let us, on an opportune day like this, spend time reflecting on how we live our lives henceforth. Knowing God has been good to us should engender from us a heart that is full of gratitude, but it should also cause us to reflect on our relationship with Him and why He is keeping us around.
We must also do our part to stay around for the master’s service. “Only the living can praise you as I do today. Each generation tells of your faithfulness to the next” (Isaiah 38:19 – NLT). Only the living will worship the Lord, so we must not only play our part in staying alive but make sure that others are also able to stay alive to worship God. We are not here for ourselves. We are here to serve others and to worship our God most high. This therefore brings to mind what is going on in our world today. In this pandemic time, let us do our part to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe. Very soon vaccines will be available for all of us, but before then, the next best thing is to make sure we wear our masks and maintain social distancing. We must do our own part and not break these rules. We must make our best efforts to follow them because it is in following these rules by our state and local governments that we play our roles in keeping our community safe and keeping God’s people alive to worship Him. We must also minimize how we move around in the interim so that we can all join hands to reduce the rate of infection.
Once again, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving season. Remember also that we must keep thanking God in all our circumstances. That is God’s desire for us. May His praise never depart from our hearts and our mouths, in Jesus name. – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya