There it sits. That once a year for some beautifully wrapped box just begging to have the bow and paper torn off. It could be an anniversary, the celebration of a birth or any number of Hallmark created holidays to spur on greeting card sales and the economy. But this box is packed with a year’s worth of memories and experiences by many hands and some of those memories will be shared on this special day. You might think this once a year day is Christmas but that is a day of many boxes. Back up less than 30 days and you will find Thanksgiving…and a single box. A box that can hold treasures of disappointment and regret followed by surprise and delight. It’s part of our own prodigal journey. There is no good without at least some bad. And on this day we recount all the blessings of the last 364 days and begin again with our feast of celebration most of the time surrounded by family and friends. When we open the box we find fellowship, food, football, and quite possibly a tryptophan-induced nap!
Did we wait all year to open this box like squirrels gathering food for the harsh conditions of Winter and never taking a moment to be thankful? Thankful that our needs and even some of our wants had been met? And for those who were wanting throughout the year that we were given the privilege by a loving and caring God to be able to share with those in need whether physical, emotional, or spiritual? I hope we didn’t. However, if we did we missed a blessing and those should not be packed away and saved for a single day of celebration but celebrated every day! Unboxing Gratitude can and should happen in the moment. Everybody’s box is different but they all pretty much contain the same things. Even the most challenging things we experience contain blessings. We may not be thankful for the hardship at the time but we can certainly find a blessing in the lesson.
‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
What if? What if we unboxed gratitude today and every day going forward? What kind of difference would it make in your life? What difference could it make for another? In order to receive a blessing, be a blessing.
I pray that you find and share joy this day and every day.
Tear that paper off that box and have a Happy Thanksgiving!