“See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:15-18, ESV).
The year 2020 has been challenging for us all. It has been a year unlike any I’ve ever experienced, and I imagine it has been that way for you, too. Nevertheless, as a Christian, I have experienced the supernatural hand of God at work in my life and family.
I could have been out of a job as some were, but I wasn’t. In fact, Grace Church has actually thrived this year. We have discovered afresh how much people need each other, that we weren’t designed to exist on our own. We’ve been social distancing like everyone else, and while having online services is fine, there is just something special about gathering with other people that simply doesn’t translate the same way online at home.
I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m thankful for the extra time working from home with my family. I’ve actually gotten more done without the distractions of the office. I’m thankful for a renewed sense of priority this year. With less entertainment-oriented distractions has come more focus in prayer and Bible reading, giving me greater vision, more time to pray, resulting in more answered prayers and more hope; something we could all use a bit more of.
I’m thankful for the Word of God, that is “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, ESV). With the uncertainty that is COVID-19, I have found assurance in the Words of Scripture, which have bolstered me up when I needed it, renewed my thoughts when I was struggling, and gave me the necessary faith to overcome whatever struggle I’ve faced. I’ve found a greater sense of peace just being in God’s presence, something this world is sorely lacking right now. I hope you’ve found that to be true, too. In fact, I saw a quote recently, “If you want a depressed worldview, sit down and watch the news. If you want a biblical worldview, sit down and read the Bible” (author unknown). I would agree.
I’m thankful that God never changes, that His Word never changes, that He won’t forsake me when I blow it, or when the world goes crazy, and that nothing I do will ever change the fact that He loves me. “Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39, NLT).
I’m thankful for a family that loves me, for friends who support me, which adds greatly to my life. I am thankful to be an American and to be able to freely worship God and to thank Him for all His goodness to me. Not everyone has that privilege.
This year I encourage you to enjoy those around you and take stock of what you’re thankful for.
Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.