Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving for those of us who live in America.  It's a day to rest, relax, eat lots of food, and think about the many blessings we have in our lives.

This year, there are many people who are unemployed.  There are many people who are underemployed.  Food prices are raising, gas prices are increasing, and it can be hard to celebrate when you are worried about making ends meet.  I've been there.  I am there. Our finances are really tight right now.  If not for a gift from my mother, we wouldn't even be having a Thanksgiving dinner.

However, this year, I am taking time to do something I've never done before.  I'm thanking God for the crisis.  I know that sounds crazy, but I've reached a place in my life where I realize a crisis is nothing more than a wonderful gift wrapped up in some of the worst looking wrapping paper imaginable.  The uglier the wrapping paper, the more severe the crisis, the darker the place you are in, the greater that gift is going to be.  The challenge is to make a decision to see it as a gift and to sort through the wrapping paper to find your gift.

I can't tell you what that gift is going to be.  It's different for each person because our needs are different.  The reality is, though, that our God is an amazing and loving God.  He never lets anything into our lives that isn't ultimately for our good.  He wraps the gift in the horrible wrapping paper to test our worthiness to receive it.  Will we trust Him even when He presents us with something that doesn't look pretty? The crisis tests our faith and reveals to us exactly where we are in terms of our trust in God.

I have already received a glimpse of the gift that is hidden in this particular crisis, and I'm excited to keep digging through and find the rest.  I know it's there.  I just have to find it and claim it.  If you're going through tough times right now, if you're worried about where the next meal might be coming from or how you're going to keep the power on, or even if you're struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy, I want to reassure you that God has something very good He wants you to receive.  This crisis is the just the packaging for that gift.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

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