Cross Words: A strange year to be thankful

By Isaiah Pauley

I’ve been writing articles since November 27, 2014. But I’ve never written an article with a wedding band on my finger. A lot can change in six years. I’m thankful.

I’m not sure what your Thanksgiving looks like in 2020. I hope you have a good meal to enjoy. I hope you have a family to spend time with. But here’s the truth: you might not. Maybe there’s an empty seat at your table. Maybe someone has the virus. Maybe there are some people quarantined. Maybe Thanksgiving seems a little less exciting this year.

It’s a strange year to be thankful.

So, on this Thanksgiving, I want us to look at 1 Timothy 6:6-8. The apostle Paul writes, “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (ESV).

These verses have been on my heart. I’m thankful for little things I now realize are big blessings. As I write this, I sit in my warm living room. On a comfortable couch. With stocked shelves and plenty of coffee. And I’m thankful.

Maybe that sounds simple. I mean, most of you have those things, too. But four months ago, I thought Jordon and I would have a lot less. On a small income, we expected to live in poverty-like conditions. And we were willing to. But God has given us a home and resources we never dreamed of having. It’s not luxurious. It’s an old house. But the level of gratitude we have for our home is comparable to a king and his castle. Why? Because we know God is faithful.

So, find some little things to be thankful for. Do you have clothes? Praise God. Do you have food? That’s a blessing. Is there a coffee pot nearby? Now, that’s luxury!

I’ve never been more thankful for groceries, heat, running water, garbage disposal, a hot water heater, and a dry house. It’s a lot of little things, but they are huge blessings. And in this season of my life, I find myself content with God’s provision. Do you?

Godliness with contentment is great gain. If you know Christ, you are blessed beyond measure. And His provision is always enough. That’s not to say you’ll have everything you want. I’m not trying to proclaim some type of prosperity message. Rather, as Paul writes elsewhere, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19 ESV).

It’s been a difficult year for a lot of people. Between the virus, a heated political election, protests, and violence. And maybe it seems like a strange year to be thankful. But knowing Christ and being content with His provision is great gain. It’s a luxury.

So, what do you have to be thankful for today? If you’re having trouble, take a walk around your house. Open your kitchen cabinets. Open the door to your closet. Look at the provision of God. And if you don’t have even those things, find something. Even if it’s something small.

I pray God would comfort your heart on this Thanksgiving to be content. To be grateful. And to never take for granted the little things you often forget about.

Thanksgiving can abound in a strange year to be thankful.

By Isaiah Pauley

Isaiah Pauley is the Minister of Worship for Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va. Find more at Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.

Isaiah Pauley is the Minister of Worship for Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va. Find more at Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.