Giving thanks in the midst of the unknown

It’s much easier to celebrate Thanksgiving when you have a job and are settled into a home. And those are two provisions that come quickly to mind as reasons to give thanks as the smell of roasted turkey fills our home and we finish up preparations for our celebrations this evening.

But we like to believe we would still be hearty in our thanks today even if we were still living in the season of unknown that consumed so much of our late summer and fall.

Without the security that comes from a job or the comfort and familiarity that comes from living in your own home, it’s easy to be anxious and ungrateful. It has not come natural to be thankful in the midst of routine packing and unpacking of our stuff, adjusting to a range of sleeping and living arrangements and wading through the unknowns of an interview process for the first time in thirteen years. But as we’ve walked through those realities, God has reminded us of the deeper promises found in obedience to Philippians 4:6-7:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Every day, we would pray about the great needs on our hearts. On most of those days, we did not get the answer we wanted, but God did bless us with a peace that could guard our hearts and minds every time we remembered to stop and add thanksgiving to our petitions. And so we learned to say thanks for daily bread, for our health, for new mercies each morning and each of God’s provisions along the way. To be honest, we hadn’t been showing sufficient gratitude for those things before.

Today, we are truly thankful for the prayers God has answered, but we’re also peaceful about the prayers He has yet to answer (like selling our house). We know to give thanks not only because we can but because we should.