When my daughter Sarah returned from a semester in school in Scotland. I was overjoyed and so very thankful. As I patiently tried to wait for her to come through the gate, I was a bundle of nervous excited energy. I could hardly wait to hug my youngest daughter once again. She is the best hugger there is! When she finally emerged, we all gathered around her and gave her the warmest welcome with hugs and kisses and even some tears of happiness. We were all abounding in thankfulness that Sarah returned to us safe, having a wonderful semester in Scotland.
Abounding in Thanksgiving looks different depending on what we are thankful for. A newborn baby most times bring tears of joy and thankfulness or tears of relief mingled with joy and thankfulness if the pregnancy was difficult or long awaited. Having someone you love return home after a long period of time often brings joy and thankfulness for their safe return. Recovering from illness of any kind can bring thankfulness into our hearts when we receive good news about our health or the health of a loved one. The list of ways we can abound in thankfulness goes on and on.
We can always be abounding in thanksgiving even when circumstances aren’t joyful but when tears of sadness do flow. This may sound impossible, but we can be because of what Christ has done for us. We are called to be abounding in thanksgiving as Colossians 2:6-7 says, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continued to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving,” Thankfully we don’t have to create thanksgiving within ourselves. Christ lives in us, being rooted and built up in him, we can have that thankfulness coming from Christ. When we focus on Christ remembering all he has done for us, his life, death and resurrection, thankfulness can mingle with sadness. I know that sometimes sadness is overwhelming and thankfulness is hard to find; that is when we can trust in God, allowing him to heal our hearts so once again we can be abounding in thankfulness. Remembering how God has provided for us in the past helps us bring thanksgiving into our hearts. Knowing God is faithfulness for whatever lies ahead of us we can have hearts abounding in thanksgiving.
As we move toward the end of the year, remembering all that God has provided for us, helped us through times of trial, sadness and has rejoiced with us in times of joy we can be abounding in thankfulness. We can use our boundless thankfulness in serving others at the welcome center, as a visitor follow up caller and as a greeter of various kinds because we know the joy of the Lord within our hearts. May everyone show abounding thankfulness this month and every month of the year.