Today we kick off Thanksgiving week, a time to celebrate God and His goodness; and next Sunday we enter Advent, a time to remember that His best gift, Jesus, came to save us and will come again to receive us. It’s a season fit for the King! So, how will you live out these next few weeks? Will you be in constant stress; overwhelmed with preparations of meals, buying of gifts, and a schedule crammed with special events? Or, will you make a choice to deliberately choose joy? Will you let others and the culture dictate the terms of your celebration or will you decide early on to keep a heart that is worshipful and attuned to God’s Presence?
Starting today, make this week a great one by including a word of appreciation in every human interaction. Thank the clerk who takes your cash at the register. Make eye contact and offer him a blessing on her day! Tell your kids how much they mean to you. Buy your wife a card and write more than your name in it! Start each day with 2-3 minutes of praise to God, specifically thanking Him for those things you enjoy because of His goodness. When a complaint crosses your mind, ask yourself if it needs to be voiced or if it really is more about your inconvenience which you can overlook? Sit down and write a note of thanks to somebody who made a difference in your life this year.
There are so many things we could complain and stress about. The future is uncertain. The economy is stalled. The Congress is paralyzed. The moral core of our nation is eroded. It seems that many are devoted to silliness and superficiality, more concerned about keeping up with the Kardashians than cultivating greatness of mind, heart, and spirit! But, I choose to look to the Lord, to know that He reigns and that His promises remain true. Like the ancient prophet, I choose to make Him my place of security. “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19, NLT)
“Yet, I will rejoice!” It’s a choice! Make it yours. It will change you and bring a blessing to those who live around you. Live as one who knows the Truth, that we belong to the King and this is His season.
“Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.” (Psalm 95:2, KJV)