I’m blessed to still have both of my parents for the holidays. Although the salvation in Jesus Christ is available every day—it’s a 24/7 enterprise— my parents won’t be. Their presence is one of those fragile, temporal items that will one day fold up. It’s one of those deals that you can neither demand nor keep. All you can do is thank God for it and learn to enjoy it while it’s here. That’s all.
Not everybody has the comfort of family during the holiday season. But there’s always something—some small grace that we might have missed, while coveting the grace someone else has. I’ve heard of wealthy, powerful people who complain that they don’t have a more perfect life. Even with all their toys, they grow progressively miserable because they can imagine better.
But it’s amazing what happens when you remember to tell God “Thank you” for even a little thing. Often your heart starts to swarm with joy. Gratitude can have huge effects upon your mood. Actually, thanking God is linked to the filling of the Holy Spirit: “…be filled with the Spirit…giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:18, 20).
If you’ve got a little thing that brings a moment of warmth, take it, turn it into praise to God, and watch it become a big thing. Sometimes it’s not the thing that changed…you did, as you were filled with the Spirit.