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A Thanksgiving Reflection

Keep on giving your thanks to God, for he is so good!
His constant, tender love lasts forever!
Psalm 118:1 TPT

2020—what can I say?  It’s been unlike any year we’ve lived through.  It’s been challenging on multiple fronts.  It’s been revelatory.  It’s been what I’d term a “good hard year.”  Good because it has allowed us to see and experience things that have opened our eyes to some truths about ourselves, our world, our faith, our God. It has taught us resilience and resourcefulness.  It’s forced us to rethink how we do life, caused us to readjust and, in some cases, hit the reset button.  It’s caused many of us to slow down and reexamine the choices we’ve made. It’s caused us to appreciate life and value time more. It’s caused us to look around and see what matters most. It’s caused many to see if what they profess to believe is what they live out in real time. Personally,  it has anchored me more deeply, tethered more tightly to the One Who is my life. As I think about, it’s been a hard year for those same reasons.  It’s just our nature to resist change—even when it’s necessary. This Thanksgiving I am filled with gratitude for both the good and the hard.

Today, as I reflect on all I have to be grateful for, I find myself pondering this thought posed by the psalmist:

What if God had not been on our side?  (Psalm 124:1a TPT)

It’s a sobering thought, especially in light of all that we’ve witnessed and experienced this year.  As I survey not only this year, but all my 66 years of life, my heart to swell with thanks to the Lord for being on my side.

If it had not been for the Lord, who was on my side…

  • when people mocked, scorned and laughed at me
  • when folk tried to take advantage of me
  • when false accusations were hurled against me like bullets
  • when fear tried to crowd out faith and worry attempted to uproot peace
  • when standing for righteousness sometimes meant standing alone
  • when loneliness and depression descended like dark shadows all around me
  • when others couldn’t see or hear what I saw or heard and discouraged me rather than encouraged me
  • when sickness and disease sought to squeeze the life out of me
  • when the storehouse of resources was empty
  • when I had no idea what to do, where to go, or how I’d make it
  • when the enemy came in like a flood, seeking to take me out

Had He not been on my side, I would have lost all hope, lost all joy, lost my way, lost my mind, lost my life!

I am overwhelmed as I realize it is only because the Lord has been on my side that I am still standing, still smiling, still singing, still walking out purpose and destiny, still  able to worship Him with every breath in me.  My life is a testimony of His goodness, His faithfulness, His love, His mercy, His grace.  I am eternally grateful to this awesome, powerful, loving, gracious, covenant-keeping God who loves me—and loves you— with an everlasting love! He has held me!  He has protected me!  He has provided for me!  He has wooed me! He has healed me!   He has forgiven me! He has kept me! He has loved me through it all!

May  this Thanksgiving—and every day that follows—be filled with both intentional and spontaneous praise as we think on God’s goodness.  As we gather—whether in person or virtually— with family and friends, may “Thank You” be the fruit of our lips.  May “Thank You” always be the fruit of our lives.  May every thought, every word, every action say, “Thank You” to the One who is now and forever will be on our side.

Happy Thanksgiving and continued blessings!

May this song be your testimony today and always— Music and lyrics by John W. Stevenson





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