Family, work, friends, shelter, health . . . these are some of the things people will be expressing their gratitude for tomorrow on the celebration of America’s national day of Thanksgiving. And I’ll be among them.
But this season, I’ve been sobered by world events, and also by the difficult circumstances of some people I know and care about. As I pondered the things I am personally thankful for this year, I asked myself, But what if I didn’t have all those blessings, would I still be thankful?
As I reflected, God brought to mind a familiar verse from Ephesians:
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ” (1:3, NLT).
Hmmm. If my entire world were shaken and I suddenly lost everything, like some people in the world recently have, would I still be thankful? I wondered. Just what are those “spiritual blessings”?
So I started writing in my journal, tentatively at first.
The hope of heaven
Being reunited with loved ones who’ve gone on before me
I paused. It was a good list. But it was so predictable. What else, Lord? Please show me what all those spiritual blessings are.
Gradually, more thoughts started coming.
The bedrock of truth in the midst of an ever-shifting culture
Angels! Guardian angels who protect me from all kinds of calamity
The fact that broken relationships can be mended and restored because of Jesus
Free access to God the Father through prayer
The promise that all injustices will be made right in the end
A Big Brother who understand what I experience because He experienced it too
Over the past few days I’ve added to my list each morning, and have asked God to help me live in the joy of those truths. My list is growing, but I won’t share the whole thing with you because I want to allow you the pleasure of making your own list, if you feel so inclined. If you do, write me a comment. We can encourage each other by sharing these spiritual blessings that belong to all of us because we belong to God.