Written by Evi Idoghor, Creator of Letstalknationblog.com
It is no news that thanksgiving this year would look a whole lot different for many people. I remember the festive feelings that usually laced the atmosphere whenever November rolled around every year. Fall usually would be in full-swing, leaves shedding graciously from neighborhood trees, and the smiles on people’s faces that just brought about this warm-fuzzy feeling.
Once it was thanksgiving week, my friends and I racked our brains on menus to create to naturally capture what we craved as Nigerians living in a foreign land, yet not wanting to neglect our American friends, who had become family.
But the happenings of 2020, has altered just how many would celebrate this week with their loved ones.
If there is anything that 2020 has done so far is that it leveled the playing field for everyone on the planet. For the first time in over 100 years, a pandemic hit which affected every race, nationality, and geographical location. If the pandemic didn’t visit your locale, then you must have been outside this planet.
Aside from the COVID-19 madness, there were many other things that happened that rocked parts of the world. It first began with the death of Kobe Bryant, to the protests which arose after the deaths of people like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor that caused a huge racial divide seen in recent years in the United States, to the death of the beloved Chadick Boseman, and then the END SARS protests that rocked West African giant, Nigeria.
With all of these that happened, it can be very easy for us not to see anything to be thankful for in this whirlwind that was 2020. But, if you still have air in your lungs, I can assure you that you can very well find out something to glorify God about.
Below are five things that I am thankful for in 2020, and as you read along, I am sure things will begin to pop up in your spirit, that you should give thanks to God for.
Things to be Thankful For in 2020
Protection from Covid-19: I remember in February when this pandemic began to gain traction, I did not quite understand what it was all about. There was this trip that my friends and I had planned during the course of 2019, and we were really excited to kick things off in March of 2020, then airports began to shut down.
I was forced to cancel my trip and hunker down at home until this plague passed. It was one of my toughest moments this year because social media was swirling with fear and dread, however, I am thankful that I did not get the virus, neither did my family. God kept us from this disease, and He continues to protect us from it.
If you have not gotten this virus, or you have and recovered or are even in the process of recovering, this is something worth celebrating.
Provision during a global crisis: it is no surprise that the pandemic caused multiple economies to crash. In a blink of an eye, people were let go from their jobs and left with nothing to fend for themselves and their families.
Especially in countries like Nigeria, where the majority of the populace lives below the poverty line and as such are reliant on the daily hustle to bring in their daily bread, many resorted to begging just to have a meal a day. But that wasn’t my story—and for this, I am also thankful to God.
Time spent with family: if there are any positives that this year 2020 brought, was the ability to spend ample time with family. Over the years, parents worked extensively to provide for their children, hence, not spending the much needed time to bond with them. Even some spouses attest to this, they say this was the longest time they had spent with their partner together in their home.
I also enjoyed this privilege. As work slowed down, especially for someone like me who spent the majority of my time on the road commuting, I was able to use that time to enjoy much-needed family moments, and in that, I understood what really matters in life.
We once lived in a world where busyness was glorified, and taking time off made you seem underproductive amongst your peers, however, this pandemic forced everyone to slow down and reflect on things that are of more importance—family.
Safety in the midst of protests: what began as peaceful protests, later spiraled into something that was not short of a nightmare that happened in Nigeria, in October of 2020. I heard gunshots from my home and feared that there was a possibility for harm to be done to us, but that didn’t happen.
Even after everything calmed down, criminals saw that as an opportunity to keep terrorizing their local communities; every day my phone was flooded with messages on how we should be alert and not leave our homes at certain times.
That can do a number on a person’s emotions. In times when tensions arise, I have learned to turn quickly to God and His word. That is what has kept me grounded in this season of life, and I am thankful that I have this anchor in Christ, no matter what.
Addition to my family: we can agree that 2020 did not stop women from birthing beautiful babies into this world. I know six women (personally) who delivered babies within the space of three months, and one of them being my sister-in-law. She birthed the most beautiful baby that there is, and sometimes I pause and think—what did we do to deserve such a gift in these times?
God knew that she was just what we needed in 2020. My little niece is peaceful, playful, loving, and such a good sport. I cannot even imagine life without her in it. I am at my brother’s house every week just to catch a glimpse of her precious face, and Lord knows that I am thankful for this not-so-little bundle of joy that we have.
Sometimes, when things are unraveling, things that we are not usually familiar with, it is very possible not to identify the other things in our lives to be thankful or even grateful for. It is God’s will that we always maintain gratitude even in our darkest moments, because He is good at all times, and knows how to work everything out in such a way that He gets the glory in the end, even if we don’t see it when we are in the midst of turmoil.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says—“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” For those who are always in search of God’s will, this is it all the time.
We shouldn’t wait until November every year to be thankful for life; each day we wake up is an opportunity to start our day with—thank you, God. Let us also not forget those in hospitals, foster care, orphanages, and prisons, as we celebrate with friends and families this week.
What are you thankful for this year? Let us know below. Happy Thanksgiving!
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