Finding Reasons to Give Thanks

There is no doubt that this has been a tough year. Probably the toughest in this nation’s history since World War II, and certainly when it comes to domestic upheaval and turmoil, perhaps the most disruptive year since the 1860s.

A pandemic has altered daily life as we know it for months on end and paralyzed many with fear. We’ve seen protests and rioting in the streets. We’re a divided and polarized people in the midst of an election that is disputed and probably always will be. Just when many people are longing to turn to God and to churches for consolation and understanding, those churches are limited in their operations, either by government dictates or self-restrictions.

Amid all that, you might understandably ask “what is there really to be thankful about?” as we prepare to observe our national day of Thanksgiving.

It helps to step back and try to see beyond the negative news and opinions that dominate our discussions. This is still a good country, with mostly good and generous people who care about each other even when we disagree. Those who hate, who riot, and who hurt each other are a minuscule fraction of Americans – who unfortunately garner most of the attention.

Yes, there may be 12 million Covid-19 cases in this country. But 316 million Americans have NOT been infected. Those who tear down and destroy are vastly outnumbered by people who give to food banks and other charities to help their pandemic-stressed communities. Some 93 percent of Americans are still employed. Businesses are finding ways to stay afloat despite all the challenges being thrown at them. And regardless of all the haranguing and accusations, there really are very few real racists left in this country – and the problems we have that stem from past racism are improving by most any measure.

None of this is meant to minimize the serious problems we face. But with life there is hope, and therefore cause to give thanks. As followers of Jesus, we have ample reason to be thankful every day for the ongoing blessings we see and for the promises of a glorious eternal life to follow once the trials of this life are behind us.

President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday during a dark, dark period of U.S. history. He knew, as his fellow Americans knew then and most know now, that there is always a reason to be thankful. We hope that you, and your business, can find those reasons to give thanks today, and this Thursday, and beyond.