By Krista Sweeney
How can we celebrate a season of Thanksgiving when we feel like we have no “thanks”?
Right now, I am in a huge season of change: I moved back to Washington State, I started a new job, we’re planning a wedding, all while stepping into another time of being in a long distance relationship. Statistically, getting married, starting a new job, and moving are some of the most stressful events that a person can go through. So, it looks like I hit the trifecta.
Although all of these changes are incredible gifts, it is often difficult to feel and be thankful in a season of great stress. With as much as I tend to think about what I will do for dinner each night, some can imagine how all of these other factors weigh in on my battle with worry.
So, how can we celebrate this season of Thanksgiving when we feel nearly thankless?
You simply try and walk with God.
There are days that I struggle to get out of bed under the weight of all my worry, but I make a point to try my best to put my life in the hands of my Creator. While I trudge along, feeling sluggish and downcast, I try my hardest to have hope in my Redeemer. When I begin to miss my fiance and feel alone, I desperately try to take comfort in the love of my Heavenly Father.
In my deepest moments, I realize that God doesn’t ask me for perfection, because He loves me in spite of all of my sin.
HE LOVES US STILL
Starting way back in the beginning, in the fall of man, God chose to love His creation still.
As Adam and Eve walked through the Garden in perfect harmony with God, sin crept in. Sin robbed them of joy, of a relationship, and complete transparency with God. The moment that sin snuck in was the moment that changed the history of mankind. This sin wasn’t something that just happened or snuck up on the first marriage, it slowly found its’ way into the heart of man. It poked and prodded, beckoning for the disobedience of God.
Sin gradually broke down Eve, and told her that she would be all the wiser for giving in to the temptation. Then, Eve turned to her husband, and Adam joined in Eve’s same fate. As soon as the first bite was taken, the couple that had once lived in total tranquility with their Creator, “realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves”, (Genesis 3:7). Then, when they heard the slightest sound of God moving through the trees, they hid.
Here’s the kicker: regardless of the amount of sin that occurred, God still chose to walk in the forest, alongside His masterpiece, seeking them out.
How amazing is that? God still pursued His glorious and very good creation! No matter how much doubt, fear, worry, rebellion, sadness, or despair there was, GOD STILL LOVED. God still chased after Adam and Eve, even as they hid in shame; God still moved towards His people, even when they walk away; God continued to want a relationship with the children who forsake Him. He says all of this to Adam and Eve in just three words: “Where are you?”, (Gen. 3:9).
As for me, I am Eve. I have allowed sin to slowly creep into my heart, in the form of worry and I am taking full responsibility for it. There is no excuse that I can use to say that it was someone else’s fault, or that I was forced into it. Granted, Satan is real and very much alive, but I am the one who has the capability to lay my sin at His Throne. I am the one who is able to try, even though I know I will fail, and ask for God to walk alongside me, just as He did in the Garden.
NOTHING SEPARATES US
The incredible truth is that we are all loved by God just as much as Eve. God still chases after us, even when we mess up BIG, giving us more grace than we can imagine. God never walks away from us. Instead, He walks towards us, beckoning us to not hide in shame. He wants to meet us exactly where we are, just as He did at the fall of man. There is nothing that can separate His love from us: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”, (Romans 8:38-39). Our God will continue to crush our sin for us, banishing it into the darkness, and fighting for our love forever. Praise be to God!
So sisters, my prayer in this season is this:
Father God, may you show us Your great love. May we feel Your presence as we walk through this season of Thanksgiving, even if we have no “thanks”. May we hear Your footsteps in our forest, and run to You. Lord, bring us closer to Your heart, and allow us to see Your grace towards us. May we try for the sake of Your incredible love, and not for the sake of perfection. You hold nothing against us, You hold only grace. May we embrace Your ceaseless pursuit of us, for all of our days.
In Your Holy and Glorious Name, Amen.