A Time To Reflect

Is it really November already? We all hear it said often, and it is so true:  “Where has the time gone?”

I’m not complaining about it being November, this is my favorite time of year. I love the cooler weather, the color display across the landscape, the addition of jeans and fleece into my wardrobe, and the many wonderful occasions my family celebrates during this month.  But I truly can’t believe Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away!

As I write this, with my sweet Daisy resting by my side, I am reflecting on this past year.  We had many exciting events occur this year, but also several life challenges that I struggled through, riding a roller-coaster of emotions from day to day.  I was so mentally bothered, stressed, and distracted during these times and I often couldn’t even focus when praying.  Instead, I was  replaying scenarios over and over in my mind which just escalated the stress even more.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I reflect on how thankful I am for the Bible.  It truly is “A lamp onto our feet and a light onto our path” (Psalm 119:105). When mental distractions robbed by prayer focus,  I had to stop the brain chatter and tell myself,  “Just start reading.”  And sure enough, as I read, calm would envelop my heart and mind.

I don’t know what kind of year you’ve had. Perhaps you had a mountaintop year where everything was calm and joyous?  I praise God with you.  For others, perhaps emotionally taxing events kept coming? I praise God with you.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I praise God for the joys and the struggles we encountered this past year.

The Bible tell us to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thes 5:16-18) and to rejoice in suffering (Romans 5:3).

So hard to do when we’re in the middle of the struggle, right? But God understands this.  He meets us right where we are and lifts us up.  As we read His Word, He refocuses us away from our situation and He reminds us that He is with us.

Sadly, it is true that we seek God more fervently during times of difficulty.  But God welcomes us always.  And as we seek and rely on Him, we come away with a stronger faith and deeper understanding of our Heavenly Father than we would have had if we hadn’t gone through the struggle at all.  This is why we can give thanks for our difficulty.  Because God is with us and can use such times to grow and strengthen us.

I pray you all have a great Thanksgiving.  But before we start prepping the turkey, baking pies, or decorating the dinner table, let us take time to reflect on this past year.  Let us sit with God about our ups and downs: Did we try to handle it all ourselves? Did we turn to God quickly knowing He would equip us? Did we rely on His Word to restore us to a place of calm.

He most definitely is still teaching me how to stop the mental chatter and recite His truths instead.  He is teaching me to turn to Him faster and to really be with Him.  Whatever our time of reflection shows, we can rest in knowing God loves us and welcomes us to draw near – during times of struggles as well as in times of calm.

Let us give Him thanks today!







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