“Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity. That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything. There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give Me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you Joy (regardless of your circumstances).”

Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

There have been small things this weekend that have added up to make this Thanksgiving one of my favorites in recent years. I admit to be one of those people who pushes Christmas and Thanksgiving together. I usually have Christmas decorations up mid-November. But not this year. This year, I’ve slowed.

It’s true that giving thanks is actually the best way to receive the gifts. It seems like it should be the opposite, like receiving the gift comes first, and then we’ll feel thankful. But when it comes to invisible things like hope in the midst of heartache or faith in the midst of fear, being thankful can be the very window by which these gifts are able to come in.We thank him first, even when it’s hard to believe. Miracles happen that way. Not ones with bright lights and TV pulpits, but sacred miracles of belief, of hope, and strength of character. I’ve been thinking on these things, on the miracles that follow thanksgiving. Worry melts into acceptance. Tension doesn’t feel so heavy.

As we now enter into the Advent season, I am thankful for this slowing, for this time to remember and celebrate Emmanuel. The Man and I have been talking about what it means to have God-with-us with us, and we have a post going up over at Christmas Change tomorrow. I’ll let you know when it’s live.