“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” -Psalm 107:1
There is no doubt that the holidays will be a bit different this year. While much of the world is beginning to get ready for Christmas, Americans are gearing up for our greatest feast of the year. Even if Thanksgiving is not a holiday you celebrate, why not take a moment to be thankful this weekend? We can all find many things to be thankful for if we really think about it… even in the middle of a pandemic. Praise God for giving us life! Depending on which state you live in, there are drastically different guidelines being promoted for the holiday. Though we are all busy getting ready to celebrate, I feel compelled to write you my short and sweet thoughts as you prepare to feast.
I live on the West Coast of the U.S., as well as the majority of my family. As you may have heard, our overzealous governors decided to pull the plug on Thanksgiving. The Governor of Washington is attempting to force everyone to stay home in complete isolation, while the Governor of Oregon is only allowing two households to come together as long as they do not represent more than six people. The Governor of Oregon also thought it would be a wonderful idea to threaten people with a month in jail or a $1,250 fine, or both, for violating her edicts. This is the same governor that’s gone soft on the Portland rioters. The last time I checked, pandemic or not, California, Oregon and Washington are a part of the free (not communist) country of the United States of America. To be especially scary, Oregon’s Governor has decided to encourage snitching on your neighbors. This is not the America any of us should want to live in.
All of these restrictions are being enforced in the name of protecting our health and the health of others. This “science” completely overlooks however, our overall mental, emotional and spiritual health as well. These health guidelines ignore the risks of suicide deaths and domestic violence that is also occurring due do extreme amounts of hopelessness, stress and loneliness. People are the most healthy in every way when we can have loving interactions with other people. This is not only common sense, there are numerous articles you can read about this that I don’t have time to list to you. Feel free to look into it for yourself!
I am not a rebellious person by nature. I love to obey rules and laws (just ask my husband). I was raised this way. However, this year there is a strong urge rising up in me to oppose these inhumane restrictions. Strangely, I feel that God is encouraging me in this. After all, when there is persecution against Christians in other countries, people must break the law in order to worship God according to their conscience. I believe America is only getting a little taste of this now. With this in mind, let me give you some advice this Thanksgiving…
- Listen to the voice of God (the Holy Spirit) over your government and obey him (Acts 5:29).
- Spend time with your family and friends and don’t worry about going over the limit.
- Be generous and serve one another (1 Timothy 6:18).
- Eat, drink and give thanks to Jesus for his amazing blessings in our lives (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
- Do NOT call the police on your neighbors (Mark 12:31)!
- Only wear masks if it’s strongly on your conscience or you have a vulnerable family member or friend present.
- Love and encourage each other verbally (John 13:34-35).
- Give people hugs!
- If you are sick, it is a good idea to have someone drop off your meal to you and call you instead… exercise wise judgment (Proverbs 2:6).
- Live in FAITH, not in FEAR (2 Timothy 1:7)!
You are free to disagree with my advice, but I feel I’ve laid out a recipe for a very joyful and healthy Thanksgiving. Let’s not be so hyperfocused on preserving our physical health, that we sacrifice our mental, emotional and spiritual health as well. Invite people over who are lonely. Let’s show love and comfort to the grieving. Encourage those who are struggling with depression. We can help prevent suicides this holiday weekend by bringing hope to people and saving some from isolation. Let’s call to check on our friends and neighbors and show them care, instead of snitching on them. With that said, I wish you all the most joyful and happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your hugs and pumpkin pie!