The frigid November air pierces right through your bones. The forceful, whirling wind blasts on and on with a long, lonesome howl.
The trees, so gloriously ablaze with color just yesterday, now stand bare and thin and gray.
And in the front yard, 10,000 leaves pile up shin-deep, each a sorrowful reminder of how dry and lost this month — this whole year — feels.
We live in a fallen world, and in a year like 2020, well it can make life seem hopeless. It can make your heart feel as cold and lonely as the wind. It can make your soul feel as dark and bare as the tree branches. And in our disappointment, we must decide: To complain or to be content? To grumble or to be grateful? To reject the entire 12 months as a blur of frustration, or to receive every moment of it with thanksgiving?
Will my mind and my mouth choose to thank God for all His goodness, even when His goodness doesn’t feel warm and green and vibrant? Even when His goodness feels brown and bare and bitter cold? Even when His goodness seems hidden in the darkness of lockdowns and riots and loss?
In his song “10,000 Reasons,” singer and song-writer Matt Redman encourages us to keep singing praises to God – whatever may pass and whatever lies before us – because God has given at least 10,000 reasons for our hearts to find. Oh, my soul, keep singing, even when the health department tells me to shut my mouth.
Oh, my soul, keep hunting. Forget any anxious search for safety. Forget that futile striving for the normalcy of 2019. Forget any hope in the government. Remember what you’re really hunting for this November.
Remember you’re on an easy hunt for God’s abundant goodness. Remember how, even in 2020, His goodness piles up higher and deeper than 10,000 fallen leaves. Even in 2020, His goodness surrounds me, and I can smile.
So remember to look around you, friend, and see God’s love for you. Is it a steamy cup of hot cocoa that warms your hands? A loved one’s unexpected text that brightens your afternoon? A glimpse at the setting sun glowing through pink clouds?
Whatever makes you smile, whatever is pure, noble, lovely, excellent or praiseworthy, that’s a gift from God. That’s a reason to thank Him. And that’s a reason to trust Him with whatever unknowns 2021 may bring.
This Thanksgiving 2020, let’s be truly thankful. Let’s hunt for God’s goodness. Let’s rake up 10,000 reminders of His goodness. Let’s joyfully sing and let’s celebrate by thanking Him like never before.
“They celebrate Your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.”