God’s Love in Tough Times

While Abigail beat me to the punch, I have to talk about Thanksgiving this week.

Fall is my absolute favorite season.  I love the colors on the trees and on people’s clothes, apple-picking and hayrides, pumpkin decorating and apple cider-drinking, the smell of pumpkin pie in the oven and scarves.  I love the crisp air and the smell of snow coming.  It helps that I’m a fall baby, too.

Most of all, though, I love Thanksgiving.  I love getting to spend five days with my father’s absurdly large family on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  There’s always food and laughter, and my dad is usually playing some soft jazz on the piano.  It’s often the only time of the year that the whole family is together, and I love catching up on everyone’s lives.  They’re a rowdy bunch but I love them dearly.  I’m also insistent on blocking all Christmas music until I’ve had the chance to fully enjoy the season of fall and reflection on all that I’ve been blessed with over the year.

Sometimes at Thanksgiving, however, it seems that we’ve had more trials than blessings over the last year.  Every now and then I feel as though the weight of the world crushes the bits of happiness that may have transpired.  Life can be really hard sometimes, and when things happen that make it difficult to be thankful.

As Christians, that can be really challenging.  How do we find reflections of God’s love in hard times?  Here’s my answer.  We’ve made it through this year.  Things might not have been perfect, but here we are.  And there are more things to be thankful for than you sometimes realize.  Like Abigail said, start listing them.  Even when the economy is still struggling and people are in conflict around the world and we’ve lost a loved one, there are still small pleasures in life and wonderful people who I can’t help but think God sent to get us through the tough times.

Last week my sister was hospitalized, and my heart was mighty heavy.  I reached out to my sorority sisters for support, and was overwhelmed by words of love, and donations to send flowers to my sister.  She was so cheered by those flowers, and I so comforted by that circle of friends.  Even in the hard times, God’s love shines through in wonderful ways.  And for that, I could not be more thankful.

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