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Honestly Thankful

Thanksgiving Day is here.  All over the country folks travel to be with family and friends, guys in countless neighborhoods play epic backyard football games, the ambitious among us run turkey trots before we eat, and the Macy’s Parade ushers in the holiday season.  This is a day for pausing, for feasting, and for thanksgiving.

But for many of us, we’re in a tough season.  All may not be well in our relationships around the table.  Perhaps the holiday gatherings only serve to amplify the pain and brokenness of our stories.  It’s challenging to have a warm heart full of thanksgiving in the face of grave disappointment, years of hurt, or deep misunderstanding.

So, how can we have authentic gratitude apart from honesty?  There is a place for honesty about our pain this Thanksgiving that drives us into our all-sufficient, ever-faithful God.   Over and over again the psalmists insert this beautiful refrain into their hymns: “give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”   There may be much in our lives that is broken, yet the psalmists point us to God himself as the reason for our thanksgiving.

Our God “is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made” (Ps. 145:9).  He is “majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders” (Ex. 15:11).  His covenantal loving-kindness toward his people will never waver or end.  In the ultimate act of steadfast love, Jesus bore the wrath of God on our behalf that those who trust in him might receive only the blessing of God.  Jesus secured all of the spiritual blessings God has to give us by dying the death we should have died.

So, grieve where you need to grieve this Thanksgiving.  Go to the Lord honestly with your pain and revel in his sufficiency.  Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Ashlee Johnson

Ashlee is the wife of a pastor, mom of two busy little ones, and a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Seminary. She is passionate about communicating the truths of Scripture to women and magnifying Jesus as the All-Satisfying Treasure and Almighty Redeemer. She has lived in North Carolina for most of her life and loves making the most of the sidewalks and parks in her 1940s neighborhood. Ashlee enjoys healthy eating and exercising, but finds it nearly impossible to resist homemade cookies!

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