If your social media feed is anything like mine, it’s overflowing with holiday coziness. But twinkle lights and spice-dusted lattes aren’t always enough to foster gratitude when the calendar commands.
Some of us feel our lack more deeply than our blessings, and turning that around isn’t a simple attitude adjustment. That doesn’t mean we need to give up on giving thanks. We can still foster gratitude from a place of authenticity.
Giving Thanks for What We Lack
I woke up at 3:00 this morning with a migraine, my fourth in as many days. In bed with an ice pack, waiting for the meds to kick in, I wondered if this pattern would continue. I used to deal with migraines bi-weekly, but they’ve been blessedly rare for the past two years. Was this latest series a sign of poor health returning?
I released that fear in prayer, and felt a warm peace wash over me. It was one of those sweet, rare-for-me moments when God’s presence felt as tangible as the blanket over my chest.
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Even when the taste is bitter.
This morning I’m giving thanks for good I’ve found in the bitterness. If you’re in a season of fatigue, of feeling your lack rather than your blessings, I hope these prayers encourage you.
For Physical Discomfort, I Give Thanks…
…for by it I have felt my own frailty, and in my weakness found Your strength. I have learned to cry out to you in the darkness, when my body feels like enemy territory and no one can carry the pain for me. You have given me compassion for others who suffer in the flesh. You have taught me to ask for and accept help, and shown me how deeply loved I am by the people you’ve given me. I have loosened my grip on earth and begun to long for heaven, understanding that, beautiful as this life can be, it is Your mercy that we are not confined to these bodies forever.
For Difficult Relationships, I Give Thanks…
…for they have taught me how desperately I need Jesus to be my righteousness. As I struggle to love, the miracle of Your undeserved love has broken me gently. You have drawn me into hidden places, revealing pieces of my heart long hidden, and in bringing them to the light, begun the healing. You have deepened my gratitude for the healthy relationships in my life, and daily whispered me toward the softer path.
For Financial Uncertainty, I Give Thanks…
…for through it you have shown Your provision. By limiting my resources You have inspired creativity in their use, and grown me in wisdom by offering an opportunity for intentional choice. You have shown me how fleeting are the riches of earth, and in turn taught me to value those things money cannot buy. Most of all, you have taught me to trust in Your character, rather than in Your gifts.
This holiday season, I pray that you experience God’s goodness in the sweet and bitter. Happy Thanksgiving, friends.