Having a day set aside for thankfulness is such a treat. To gather around the table, feast, and remember our blessings is a holy thing. So often, the worries of the moment crowd out gratitude. But dwelling on the nature and character of God draws us back into gratitude and peace.
It’s difficult to pin down one characteristic of God I’m most thankful for. How do you state your favorite thing about he who gives and sustains life and light? Yet in each season of life, I find myself needing to lean into a different aspect of his character.
Right now my family faces a lot of uncertainty. An unexpected lay off—and lost income—has thrown everything up into the air for us. As we start the holiday season, we don’t know what city or even state we will end it in. We get through our days, piecing together gigs, taking care of a toddler and a baby, and savoring this rare season with all four of us together all the time. Everything feels in flux.
But the Lord is eternal and unchanging. “‘I am the Alpha and Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty’” (Revelation 1:8).
When life feels shaky and uncertain, the Lord is steadfast and certain. He is eternal in that he is currently present in all times and all places right now. He exists in the eternal now.
I can’t even speak this truth without using temporal language, though he is not bound by time as we are. He knows the future because he is already there (then?).
My life can seem consumed by things small seen big, my narrow view distorting the small into large, the significant into overwhelming. All these worries and questions: Where will my husband find a job, and when he finds one, where in the world will it be? What community will we raise our kids in? What church? How will we make it without an income until he gets a job? Will my oldest get the therapies he needs? Will the therapies work? Will difficult relationships ever be not difficult? Will my children walk with the Lord?
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalm 90:2). God’s Godness existed before time, before my questions and worries took shape. His Godness will persist after my time on earth has expired and all that is broken has been remade.
The Lord knows all of the answers because he is already present in them. I can’t fathom that he is in the future when these questions are answered but the things have not happened yet. But he is there. And he is all here now, in this moment of my anxiety. He fills up all of time with his loving, steady presence. As I move forward, one day at a time, old questions will find their answers and new will be asked. But he will be there––steady, unchanging, and eternal—sustaining me.
His eternal nature gives me rest. As I sit down to the turkey and dressing and praise the Lord for homemade cranberry sauce (my favorite!), I can rest with questions unanswered and feast, grateful that the Lord is already in the days to come.
Heather is a former campus minister and current stay at home mom who spends a surprising amount of time playing with toy trains. She writes occasionally at heatherhocking.com, but mostly loves to volunteer in her community and read books.