21 Days of Giving Thanks – Day 20

In an effort to emphasize the season of Thanksgiving, I’m celebrating it all through the month of November. Earlier I explained my 21 Days of Giving Thanks challenge (which you can read about here). It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is only one day away! Today, let’s give thanks for something else we don’t usually anticipate- but we should.

Day 20 – Give Thanks for Future Friends

Tonight I will take my family and attend a Thanksgiving praise service with dozens of people we have met in just the last few months. God works in amazing and mysterious ways, and our new friendships remind us to be thankful for God’s sovereignty. Who knows what new friends he has in store for you in the next month? You will meet new people, develop new relationships, and find more joy and meaning than ever before because God has good plans for you when it comes to future friends. This may be especially meaningful for you if you are about to launch into a new chapter in your life. Turn to God, thank him for past and present friends, and trust him to establish good friendships in the future.

Learn from Ebenezer Scrooge and his encounter with Christmast past, present, and future; you have the responsiblity to create a positive, Christ-exulting influence on the direction your future friendships take. It’s always wise to remember, “Many seek the favor of a generous man, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts.” (Proverbs 19:6) You can score some serious “friend points” this Christmas! Wait… how did we get on Christmas? But seriously, it’s no mistake that in my posts on giving thanks I have focused on past friendships, present friendships, and future friendships. They are all good gifts from God, and his provision for us in past friendships gives us hope for future friendships.

Challenge: Thank God for your future friendships in light of past and present ones. Ask him to quiet your anxious heart regarding any current or future relational tension, remembering how he has directed in your friendships in the past.

CP

21 Days of Giving Thanks – Day 6

In an effort to emphasize the season of Thanksgiving, I encourage you to celebrate it all through the month of November. Earlier I explained my 21 Days of Giving Thanks challenge, which you can read about here. Today let’s take time to give thanks for the people God has placed in our lives.

Day 6 – Give Thanks for Current Friends

I’ve lost touch with most of my friends from high school, though we may chat occasionally. Friends come and go, not so much because we do or do not like them, but because life changes. They move to a different state. They transition to a new stage of life. They get married or have kids or take a new job or whatever it may be. We may try to keep up via social media, which is great, but it’s just not the same.

Current friends are unique because they live with you through this stage of your life. As relational creatures, we all share a simple, intangible, yet very real need to have friends who can simply be with us. Who is it in your life that you can see as a special gift from God right now?

God does this for us all the time, if we pay attention closely. He placed Ruth in Naomi’s life, though Naomi didn’t appreciate it at first. She was too caught up in her grief and heartache (and she had a lot of it!) to recognize a Moabite widow girl as God’s greatest gift to her. And God has a Ruth in your life, too.

Challenge: Take time today to think about who God has placed in your life right now as a sign of his grace, and thank him for it. Then go and thank your friend for being there for you.

CP