Thanksgiving

DSC00280I love Thanksgiving.  Mainly because it’s the one time a year that my whole family gathers at my parents’ home …  

Sometimes different members can’t come, but we all try.  But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I LOVE the food fest, too!   I always eat too much.  Always.  I live for my Mom’s stuffing – oh my.  It’s funny, as my brothers and their families arrive, we all greet each other and then we head straight to the kitchen were Mom has stored several containers of homemade sweets.  And we begin.  We eat and talk, talk and eat.  And we play hard, too.  I thank God for this time.

But every time hasn’t been that way for me.  As I inched my way into my late twenties – single, I dreaded facing the question, “So, are you dating anyone?”  I loved being with my family, but I longed to be married and have children like my brothers were beginning to.  It was hard.

Many people don’t look forward to the holidays, though they love their families…   A relationship is strained or difficult; we’re struggling personally and really don’t want to go put on the happy face for everyone, or perhaps we’re marking this occasion for the first time without a loved one who has passed away.  There are lots of possibilities.  Most of us have had more than one “family occasion” that we simply “got through”.

CIMG3279So what do you do with your pain, your struggle, your feelings?  God lovingly tell us what He want us to do:  “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55.22)  “Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5.7)

To cast means to throw, to discard.  The Lord knows what is going on in us; He wants to walk with us through it.  More than that He wants to carry the burden; so He directs us to “cast” it upon Him.

Why doesn’t He just take it?  Because He desires relationship with us, a deepening intimacy… through conversation.  He alone sees our heart and knows our precise state.  He alone can tend our heart, comfort and heal us, and lead us through our current circumstance.  But, He has given us the freedom to choose to invite Him in – or not.

Are you carrying a burden?  Cast it on Him and ask for His help: “Lord, I give you — . Please help me and show me the way.”  It could be helpful for us to pray this every day for a while.  A beautiful thing that I’ve learned as I’ve cast many burdens on the Lord is that the more I pray this, I become more expectant.  More expectant that God is near, that He will act.

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