In the first chapter of Genesis, five times God completed a day’s work of creation and then recognized that it was “good.” Light, land and living creatures were all good.
The sixth day was different. After creating man, “God saw all He had made and indeed, it was very good.”
God stepped back, took a larger view, saw the fullness of His creation, and only then realized just how good, indeed very good, it was.
There may be a message in that for this Thanksgiving.
COVID ravages the country, leaving empty seats at many family tables. Children have had a year of normal childhood taken from them. Our nation is still dangerously riven.
Sometimes, it is hard to be thankful. We’ll still try to pick the low fruit of people who love us, food to eat, and a roof over our heads, but for many, there is an unease in our soul and an uncertainty in our mind that subdues our gratitude.
It is natural. We cannot be grateful for everything, especially when it seems like the fates have conspired against us. But we can develop a deeper sense of gratitude that allows us to step back, see the bigger picture, and realize that even in dark times we are still so very blessed.
I have found that, above all, this demands humility on my part. I have to realize that it is not all about me, that I am not alone in whatever suffering I perceive, and that my portion of good is enough, perhaps even more, than I need.
A sense of humor is essential. If I take God seriously, especially as provider and sustainer, then I don’t have to take myself seriously. I can wear my faith lightly and see the irony, the absurdity and even the comedy in otherwise tense times.
I can be, like Job, cautiously pessimistic, expecting that things will get worse, but open to the possibility that the tide will turn.
I need to slow down, deliberately pause. Bad news oozes from every digital pore while so many of the good things are missed in my blind distraction.
Every day has its moments of subtle grace and delight, but many can only be seen through the eyes of attention.
Finally, I must take it all to prayer, audibly voice my thankfulness for the life and light showered upon me.
God may not need to hear my words of gratitude, but I do.