If we were to review the year, there’s a lot to be negative about. There’s an ongoing pandemic that is sickening family members and putting cities in lockdowns and restrictions. There’s the aftermath of racial tension and riots that have us beckoning for not only healing but understanding for the complexity of issues that we may not understand. There’s political chaos and uncertainty as America prepares to usher in a new administration.
But—as crazy as it may seem—I’m thankful for all the chaos and crises that have occurred this year. In the season of Thanksgiving, I remember that we shouldn’t be grateful only for the blessings but for also the discomfort and disarray. Because of this, it matures one to be ready to receive the blessings.
So allow me to put it like this:
- I’m thankful for COVID; I’m not thankful for the lives that succumbed to the pandemic. Still, I’m grateful that I could spend more quality time with my wife, work from the comfort of my residence and not cease my praise and worship to my Creator despite building restrictions placed on our local house of worship. I’m also thankful for the renewed focus on what good health should look like and never take it for granted because we are not promised tomorrow.
- I’m thankful for how uncomfortable the issue of race made us this year. I’m not thankful for the innocent lives that were taken away due to police brutality, but I am thankful for the reminder of life’s fragility. Every soul was made and loved by Almighty God, and if we, as believers of Christ, represent His kingdom, we must be willing to represent the most vulnerable and those who are the least among us.
- I’m thankful for the political tension. While I am not thankful for the role the government has played in the division and civil unrest that our country has experienced, I’m thankful that the government rests upon the shoulders of Jesus, who is indeed the King of Kings. I’m thankful that, as of now, there remains religious freedom and expression. I’m grateful for the democracy that allows us to walk into a ballot booth and cast a vote for those seeking public office. I’m thankful that I don’t have to lose sleep over what Donald Trump or Joe Biden will do because there is comfort in knowing that God oversees what tomorrow may bring.
- I’m thankful for uncertainty. Like anyone else, I struggle with the anxiety of pondering what the future entails, but uncertainty forces me to increase my dependency on Christ; it’s a reminder that Christ didn’t call me to be comfortable. Nevertheless, he does demand our thankfulness. If the prophet Job can declare blessings to the Lord amid his trauma, surely I can be thankful for the uncertainty that may loom over me, my family, and my country.
All of us have various things to be thankful for. Sure—there’s the awkwardness of COVID-19 limitations that may make Thanksgiving dinner a little strained this year, but through it all, we are a blessed people. We must never forget this.
Demetrius Minor is a minister, author, and political commentator. He is a former radio talk show host and television personality. He is also a member of the Project 21 advisory board of black conservative leaders across the United States. He and his wife, Riesa, serve on the leadership staff at Tampa Life Church in Tampa, FL.