The Grinch Who Stole Thanksgiving

Artwork contributed by the 7-year-old

Since this week is Thanksgiving, I feel compelled to write about things I am thankful for but I’m just drawing a blank. Cue the crickets. Life is just hard. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in so many uncertainties and every time I try to catch my breath, I get knocked down by another wave. Wave, after wave, after wave. It’s just that right now, in this current season we are in, I feel like the Grinch who stole Thanksgiving. Hence the portrait my 7-year-old handed to me the other day which read “the Grinch hates fall…is my mom”. Ouch!

And then I am reminded that this is just a season. Seasons come and go. They don’t last forever. During the fall we can vividly see things change from one season to the next. As we drove home from church on Sunday, I noticed that some of the trees along our street have started to change color. I pointed out to the kids the beautiful reds, oranges and yellows the trees were turning. And then we pulled into our driveway and the tree in front of our house is turning brown and ugly. What’s worse is that my husband pointed out that it’s not even a tree; it’s a weed, an ugly withering weed!

It kind of feels like that’s our lives right now. While everyone is in the beautiful seasons of reds and yellows and oranges, we are in the brown and ugly season. We aren’t even beautifully broken. Just broken.

And then this morning my devotional cut straight to the heart. It was entitled. “What God Blesses Others”. Read the whole thing here.

Jealousy is an abomination in the life of a Christian. God has made us His children. None of us deserves to be God’s child, so there is no need to compare our blessings with those of other children of God. Jealousy is self-centeredness at it’s worst. Jealousy robs us of joy and chokes out contentment. Jealousy hardens the heart and stifles gratitude. Jealousy assumes that God’s resources are too limited for Him to bless another and still bless us.

Isn’t that the truth? I become discontent with my life when I start to compare what I have to what others have or even what I had before. In an age where people put their whole lives on display through social media it can be a constant reminder of the haves and have nots. It’s so easy to fall into the trap that everyone else’s life is better than mine. Prettier homes, fancier cars, luxurious vacations, angelic children, trophy spouse. You name it, everyone else has it, but little ole me.

Yet, when I compare what I have to others, or even to my former self, it only robs me from experiencing true joy and contentment. It causes me not to be grateful during the one time of the year we set aside to give thanks for our many blessings. God forbid I continue to allow my self-centered attitude to ruin the full and abundant life that can only be found in Christ. He should be more than enough.

So when I am tempted to compare my life to others and think that we are the only ugly brown weed on the block,  may I be reminded of all the ways he has blessed me undeservedly. Because He always has and always will. And may I also take comfort in that fact that just as seasons change, so too will this season of hardship in our lives. I often am reminded that after winter there always comes spring. A time of growth and beauty. A time when He will bring beauty from my brokenness.

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