Kristy Landgren

2019: Continual Thanksgiving

     The past year-end holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas are still fresh in my mind, even with the passing of two full months in 2019. Cold winters and cloudy days still have me remembering the sparkling lights, family, friends, food, reunion, gratefulness, fun, music, presents, love and joy! The miracle of the season is the confirmation of Belief, which confirmation occurs from the small, but exciting, acts of heartfelt gift-giving and service. The Holidays are the time of year when love, hopefulness, and renewal are most apparent.

     Psalms 51:15–16 reminds us to “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows to the Most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify me” (KJV). This is one of those Scriptural passages, in which God gives commandments and then states the reward He intends to bestow. First, He commands us to offer thanksgiving: Be thankful. Secondly, He instructs us to pay vows: Keep commitments to God. Then, we are directed to call upon Him in the day of trouble: Pray for assistance. Next, He guarantees deliverance from trouble: Relief. Finally, He commands us to glorify Him, once deliverance has occurred: Return thanksgiving.

     When we are thankful and “pay vows,” we gratefully praise and worship God. He expects us to honor our commitments to Him. He also tells us to pray for those things needed, and then He guarantees deliverance from life’s troubles (and sufferings). Although, He doesn’t say he will spare us from them, he has promised he will make burdens light and provide rest to our souls. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28/KJV). God always allows us to work through difficulties, since the daily struggle facilitates the development of strength and character. As we lean on Him during the hard times, we begin to recognize his hand in our lives, which recognition sews the seeds of hope, faith, and trust in God. Adversity is inherent to the human experience. If we continually foster an attitude of thankfulness, we learn valuable lessons from our trials. Sarah and Abraham are the standard of faithfulness, as they endured many years, awaiting the promised blessings of God’s covenant with them, which would be established through their son, Isaac. Patience, hope, empathy, compassion, steadfastness and optimism are only a few of the many take-aways to be achieved through dedicated faithfulness during troubled times.

     The Lord always blesses the grateful with a soothing balm, in any stage of pain, illness or injury, even while we wait for the promised deliverance. Often, deliverance comes in the form of complete healing or pain relief. Other times it manifests itself in an increased capacity to bear a particular burden with ease and lightness. “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30/KJV). Then, as we enjoy God’s comfort and healing salve, we return thanks back to Him and glorify His Love, Power and Goodness. The cycle of thanksgiving, prayer, relief, thanksgiving begins a proliferation, leading to a momentum, of peace and joy. This expands and fuels an improved quality of life in the Faithful! The Psalms passages indicate that this is what God wants for us

     Consequently, a portion of the holiday joy and excitement can be ours, continually throughout the year, if we try carrying that spirit of hope, gratitude, and positivity every day. Eventually, Thanksgiving begins the next anticipated and exhilarating Season of Light, Gratefulness, and New Birth. It is a worthy intention that we remember to give thanks and offer praise to the Great Deliverer of all, even among our trials and tribulations. He doesn’t only offer daily deliverance throughout the mortal condition, but He has paid the price of an eternal deliverance from the death and endless separation of his children. He literally offers the jubilant reward of everlasting life with Him, and a joyful reunion with family, friends, and loved ones — forever!

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