This Thursday, in homes and on virtual platforms across the globe, people will be gleefully giving thanks. For in it all and through it all, I can testify, and hopefully you can too, God has been good. Interestingly though, times like these designed to invoke our deepest gratitude can make us acutely aware of our seemingly greatest needs that appear to have gone unmet.
Lately, I have been consumed with my needs (or what I think I need anyway). More honestly put, I have been consumed with what I don’t have and what I seemingly can’t obtain, leaving me discouraged and unmotivated to do life with excellence and vigor.
Searching for consolation and inspiration, I came to these words Apostle Paul encouragingly wrote to his friends in the Philippian church:
“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
Paul had legitimate needs. Nevertheless, through Christ in whom he found supernatural strength, his awareness of his personal needs was overshadowed by his resolve to be content—regardless of his life’s circumstances.
I pondered what it truly means to be content in this way. To not inauthentically project to the world that you are happy with your life, but to be genuinely satisfied with who you are, where you are, and what you have, especially in the uncomfortable life seasons between battle and victory, sorrow and joy, lack and plenty.
I believe that being content simply means being grateful, all the time, no matter what, and trusting that God hears you and He has you. I do not write this to insensitively discount your needs and your desire to see them fulfilled. Your needs matter, not just to you, but to God. And right now, some of you need a downright miracle. And I fervently pray you to receive it.
Gratefully, a little farther up in Philippians 4, Paul reminds us exactly what to do when anxiety about what we need and do not have threatens to overtake us.
- Do not worry about anything.
- Instead, pray about everything.
- Tell God what you need.
- Thank Him for all He has done.
- Experience the peace of God, which exceeds anything you can understand, peace which will guard your heart and mind as you live in Jesus.
This word is easier preached than lived, but it is worth embracing with an open mind and heart.
So here goes. (Clears throat)
This Thanksgiving 2020, I am thankful to be here, on purpose. I am thankful for the invaluable lesson of learning to be content with whatever I have, of learning the secret to facing life in every situation, which is the truth that God’s strength empowers me to brave ALL. THE. THINGS.
Listen, you got this because God got you! Find your attitude of gratitude, and let it shine, not just this Thursday but for all the days to come.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!