As families gather at the Thanksgiving table, some will notice changes from last year. A new baby may have been born, or a dear loved one may have slipped into the arms of Jesus. You may be in a new house, or you may be struggling to find another job. The year 2020 has been a season of incredible fluctuations.
For some people, this Thanksgiving is filled with worry. Travelers worry about the weather. Health conscious people worry about gaining weight. Younger family members worry about their elders who seem unsteady on their feet or more forgetful than usual. Others are concerned about politics, the economy, or crime.
Worry can lead to high anxiety and even illness. The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6 (NIV), “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Over the years, people would come to my office and pour out the burdens of their hearts. One of the tested and true scriptures I would share with them was Psalm 37:3-7. Take a moment to read that passage, and then return for some encouraging thoughts.
Psalm 37:5 shares four dynamic thoughts on how to battle worry:
1. Trust in the Lord. When worry crushes your chest like a vise, place your total trust in God. When Noah got in the Ark, he had no knowledge of his eventual outcome. When Moses stretched his rod over the Red Sea, he did not know what was going to happen. These leaders trusted God without being told what to expect.
2. Delight in the Lord. Place the major focus of your life on our Creator God and delight in Him. Delight means to enjoy, like a husband and wife enjoy the company of each other. Determine to treasure the presence of God, and to feast on His Word. Remember, “In the presence of the Lord is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11 NKJV).
3. Commit your way to the Lord. Commitment is more than a verbal statement. Commitment implies that you have forsaken all other choices. In my car, I have a GPS device. Once I enter my destination, the device is in charge as I follow its instructions. Even more, God is our guide. Commit to Him and let Him work out the route.
4. Rest in the Lord. Some people are afraid to rest. They have to be up pacing the floor and annoying others, because that’s their thing. The only time they sleep is when they fall totally exhausted into bed. Actually, this is not the plan of God. He wants to give us patience, peace, and calmness. Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV)
This Thanksgiving, trust, delight, commit, and rest in the Lord! Happy Thanksgiving!