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12 Days of Thanksgiving: N

Nearness of God.

Thanksgiving really needs an object. Yes, it’s nice to be thankful. Gratitude is a good mindset. But, there is something hollow in attributing our blessings to our own good “karma” or simply to chance. My heart wants to thank someONE. The tradition of the Thanksgiving holiday has its roots in showing gratitude to God for the bounty he has provided. Offering thanksgiving to our Creator is a natural response to recognizing the good that comes in our lives through His providence. Thanksgiving is also the catalyst for trusting Him through the challenges that surround our lives as well.

At some point during the Thanksgiving season, I usually gravitate toward this verse from Psalms…

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.”

For the last two years of producing this thanksgiving-themed series of essays, that verse has been a starting point. It brings the realization that through giving thanks and cultivating a grateful heart, we can more easily focus on the One bestowing our blessings. We can more easily draw closer to Him. This year, it looks like that verse is more of a culmination than a beginning thesis.

I’ve written recently about the themes of change and transition that have been prevalent in my EyeJunkie pursuit. I’ve written about the searching and wandering I have felt in my spirit of late. I’m reminded (and thankful) this season that God is never closer than in times of wandering. Though it seems He may be far, his far-reaching arm is not distant.

Sometimes we degrade wandering. It has somehow obtained a bad reputation as wasted time, procrastination or following the broken path. But, under the hand of the Almightly God, is ANY time ever wasted? I’ve been writing another post about faith (which I’ll share soon), that has helped me realize that sincere wandering is part of the full package of a sincere faith. It’s part of the process. And, God’s nearness during that time (as in every other time) is a tremendous blessing. It brings me back to the story of Jacob that began this year’s 12 Days.

Jacob’s life was not a silver-spooned, ivy league portrait. He was a cheater, a traitor, a Mama’s boy, a wanderer. In his life, he deceived those closest to him, and he was deceived by others. He was disappointed. He was afraid. And that was long before he became the patriarch of the Lord’s lineage. Still, it was clear that God never left Him or the world-changing goals for his life. In fact, we see that at his greatest moments of fear and wandering, God came to him. God even wrestled his strength and will to offer him blessings. There was no moment of searching, no moment of indecision, no moment of mistakes, no moment of fear that could thwart the bountiful blessing of God.

“The nearness of God is my good.” (psalm 73:28)

Regardless of my wandering or wondering, God is near.
He surrounds this life, my life, as only He can.
He is much bigger than all I can see.
His blessing can’t be thwarted.

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