Not too long ago, we took shelter in the comfort of our homes for what initially was two weeks of quarantine. Fast forward several months, and we face a socially distanced Thanksgiving and Christmas season.
First, Paul tells us, “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
As Christians, we are witnesses to God’s love and mercy. This does not mean we get a free pass when it comes to suffering. Jesus' cry from Psalm 22, reminds us we must pass through his cross to gain the reward of our salvation. As we see it, leaves us with two choices: We can question God, and ask him how much longer are we to suffer, or we can take Paul's advice and rejoice.
When you take a moment and think about it, you realize rather quickly how much you have to be thankful for. The blessing of this pandemic has been that it’s caused many of us to pause. To stop the hustle and bustle, and to reflect.
Thanksgiving gives us a day to recognize those who have impacted our lives in small and big ways and to be joyful witnesses to gratitude. We need only to look at the ways God continues to bless us. The Holy Spirit continues to inspire us, (we're looking at those among you with a filled-out 2020 planner; who found creative ways to use their Christian Planner, despite quarantine).
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1 NIV)
How can we be witnesses of gratitude?
We recently asked our Facebook family to share one way they’ve been blessed during this time of Covid-19. Here are a few of their responses:
Rebecca Gibson says: "My faith has been tested in so many ways, but I have been blessed after losing my job of 44 years due to COVID. God has met every one of my needs and I have not been stressed from such a traumatic and unexpected change in my life. I am so thankful that I had His Word, grace, and mercy to put it all in His hands!"
Linda Gregory said, "I've had so much more time to do scripture writing Bible study, praise music, just focusing on God a whole lot more my faith has increased so much. That along with the Christian planner has helped me to stay focused."
Sheila Reed says, "This season of COVID has been life-changing for me! In the midst of lockdowns, I chose to finally see a counselor (I’m 54 and wish I’d gone years ago)! She urged me to journal ... enter my mostly unwritten in CP 2020 Planner! My early morning time with Jesus, devotions, and my journaling in my planner has had effects on my life that have changed me and will hopefully touch others for eternity! Thanks, CP! When I ordered my planner in 2019, I had a different view of what 2020 would look like, but I can honestly say that in reality, though one of the hardest years of my life it has also been the most rewarding and life-changing! What I didn’t know, God did!"
How can we apply this to our lives, right now, in this season of Thanksgiving?
Chose to live in joy and hope, inspired by the words from the First Letter of John, “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). We encourage you to be a witness to gratitude for others because giving thanks to someone in "witnesses your gratitude."*
Try these three simple tips to help you be a witness to gratitude.
- Say thank you meaningfully. Apart from saying "thank you", tell the person why, and get as specific as possible. For example, the store clerk who helps you with your online order, "You helped me save some time today. Thank you! I appreciate you."
- Make a list of people in your life who are helpers or who help you in some way. Write reminders in your planners to drop them a note over the coming year.
- Keep a gratitude journal - and find meaningful ways you can thank the people you mention. For example, the people at your church who work behind the scenes in quiet ministries often go unnoticed. Small words of gratitude or a handwritten note can go a long way to bolster them.
Our Planners and Prayer Journals have specific spaces designed for you to record what you are grateful for.
This article was used as a reference https://thewell.unc.edu/2019/11/26/a-witness-for-gratitude/
Photos feature 2020 Annual Planner.