Autumn, when crops are harvested, is traditionally a time of thanksgiving in many cultures. For instance, Sukkot, commemorating the years that the Jews spent in the desert on their way to their Promised Land, celebrates the way in which God protected them in difficult conditions. And believers and non-believers alike in Canada and the United States celebrate their annual Thanksgiving Day. Gratitude is always a valuable quality, and daily expressions of thankfulness bring a calming, strengthening sense of the grace of Spirit, God.
This year, this season, many of us across the world could be forgiven for asking some hard questions. Is it even possible to be grateful after the struggles we’ve had around the globe? What if fears and uncertainties, or even apathy, convince us that we haven’t got much to feel thankful about?
As a student of Christian Science, I’ve found turning to the Bible unfailingly gives answers to our cries for comfort. The book of Isaiah reassures us: “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you” (Isaiah 43:2, New Living Translation). This promise of God’s deliverance opens our thoughts to the possibility and presence of great good. It fosters gratitude for divine Love’s saving and healing capacity, and hope companions this thankfulness.