“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV). I cannot speak for everyone involved, but this year has definitely been the strangest and most mentally taxing of all the twenty-one years I have lived. This year has been full of ups and downs, scare after scare, and generally filled with unease. It can be difficult to find a way to be thankful for a time that has been filled with so much uncertainty. That’s why, with the scripture I mentioned previously, we must remain forever thankful for all that goes on within our lives.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, a time that makes all those that celebrate it ponder and reflect on everything they are thankful for. Even during this time of difficulty, we should be thankful for the hardships that each of us have undergone individually, and see where we are now. Although it is cliché to say, God would not present you with anything he did not think you could handle. We must continually persevere, and remain thankful for all that is good within our lives.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 is a piece of scripture that reminds us of how we must pray through all circumstances. Even when it is difficult to do so, and when it feels as though there is nothing to be thankful for, especially considering how this year went above and beyond what any of us could have expected. The drastic changes that we have endured are all within God’s will for us. That extra time spent inside allowed me to reconnect with my family in a way that I thought would have never been possible had it not occurred.
For most of my time as a college student, I have holed up in my room to bury myself in my studies, only really emerging for sustenance and to leave the house for work, or to hang out with fiends. What seemed to be the whole world coming to a complete was what snapped me out of my hermit-like tendencies. My family was there for me physically when no one else could. It did wonders for my mental health during those excruciating months. It is something that I myself will be eternally grateful and thankful for, because the moments I have with my family will be few and fleeting, as we are constantly marching to a time where we can no longer be together.
With finals on the rise and the ugliness of self-doubt and worry rearing its head, we must persevere and remember what we can find comfort in. When there is no one or anything else left to turn to, put your faith and worries in God. Pray early and often, and give thanks not only on this fast approaching holiday, but forever and always. Look deep within yourself, and take this moment to find at least one thing that you are thankful for. Got it?
Now, take that, and pray over it while giving thanks. It helps me immensely in times I feel unsure, and I hope that it helps you as well. Good luck, everyone. I will be praying for us all.