…for my community of friends & family.
As Paul, Silas, and Timothy were writing their second letter to the believers in Thessalonica, the young church there was enduring civil persecution by local unconverted Jews and pagans. (For a glimpse of the situation there, read Acts 17:1-9.)
The Thessalonian Christians were responding to false accusations, unlawful imprisonment, financial extortion, and public battery not by feeling sorry for themselves or running from their oppressors. They were banding together in love and faith:
Brothers and sisters, we cannot help but thank God for you, which is only appropriate because your faith is growing and expanding and because the love demonstrated by each and every one of you is overflowing for one another. (2 Thessalonians 1:3, The Voice)
The Christians’ reaction to hardship was the correct one–Paul praised them for it!–and it is a great example to anyone facing life-altering difficulties.
God intended humans to live their lives in communities. We are stronger when we are together because we can protect, encourage, and edify each other physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We aren’t meant to carry our literal and figurative burdens alone.
So on Thanksgiving (and every day), I will make the choice the be thankful for everyone around me. I will try my best not be jealous of family and friends who have the children I desire. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and my miscarriages, I’ll thank God for giving me people who love me. Instead of running from children’s stores and Santa Claus lines, I’ll thank God for giving me godkids whom I can love, teach, spoil, and then return to their parents!