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Is there anything to be thankful for?

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:18, New King James Version

What an eventful and unpredictable year!

The COVID-19 pandemic is still ravaging our world. The death toll has topped 5 million worldwide — 750,000 in the U.S.

In America and abroad, people are suffering from so much: grief from losing loved ones, illness, financial instability and the effects of natural disasters. Parents, teachers and children are exhausted from constantly adapting to the “new normal” of wearing masks and social distancing. Political divisions and societal unrest prevail as we confront our own individual challenges and disappointments.

With so much happening around us, it can be difficult to focus on our blessings. Is there anything for which Christians can be grateful in 2021? Absolutely!

First, we need to thank God for life itself. As the apostle Paul says in Acts 17:28, “In Him we live and move and have our being.”

We’ve lost brothers and sisters in Christ whom we’ve loved, cherished and depended upon. They left this earth and are now cloaked in immortality and incorruptibility. For those of us who remain, every day the Lord wakes us up is a new opportunity to get it right. It’s a chance to get our spiritual house in order so that our lives will be well-pleasing to our Maker and heaven will be our eternal home.

“Whether you are in the best shape of your life or living with health challenges, you are alive. You are blessed. Be thankful.”

Whether you are in the best shape of your life or living with health challenges, you are alive. You are blessed. Be thankful.

We should be thankful for the essentials of life and the people who help provide them. This pandemic has made us all pause and take stock of our priorities. We are evaluating every aspect of our lives, reassessing what is truly essential and what is not. Our basic necessities — food, clothing and shelter — should never be taken for granted, nor should the means by which we acquire them.

Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers have taught us the true meaning of “sacrifice.” They have worked long, arduous hours taking care of the sickest patients in hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities.

These professionals have left their own families, often traveling to other states where hospitals are short-staffed.

We should be thankful for scientists and researchers who worked hard to develop vaccines and the people responsible for their rollout and distribution. Educators who instruct our children in ever-changing environments deserve our thanks and our utmost respect. And the men and women in the military, bravely serving and protecting the peace, deserve our sincere thanks.

And we should be thankful for members of our church. Ministers, elders and deacons have served tirelessly and faithfully throughout this pandemic. They have wrestled with difficult decisions and worked to ensure that worship, Bible classes and day-to-day operations are conducted and carried out safely in person and virtually.

“We should be thankful for members of our church. Ministers, elders and deacons have served tirelessly and faithfully throughout this pandemic.”

Women within the body of Christ have found unique and creative ways to teach our children and host virtual ladies’ retreats and webinars, while participating in various ministries that help us maintain the bonds of sisterhood.

As this year closes, let us remember that God expects us to count our blessings continually, not just during the holiday season. The pandemic has opened our eyes to see that the little things in life we sometimes take for granted can be big things that truly matter: the ability to assemble peacefully, maintaining bonds and connections with family and friends, sitting around the table and sharing a meal with loved ones.

Even through 2021, we have plenty for which to be thankful. And when we reach the other side of this pandemic, may we maintain an attitude of gratitude as we keep our minds fixed on the goodness of the Lord. He is always worthy to be praised! — Trindi G. Mitchell, for the Editorial Board

Filed under: COVID-19 Editorial Opinion pandemic thankful Thanksgiving Top Stories

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