**For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.** Romans 6:10
The past few days we have been talking about the effect or the impact we can have when we invest our time and our heart into the lives of others. Helper of Many and A Little Bit are two posts that help us to remember that even the smallest investments can have great return. In a world of online businesses, stocks, puts, calls, cryptocurrencies and more, we need to remember that the greatest return on our investment is that which we invest in people.
Even though it is easy for any of us to get buried in our own busyness in preparing for the holiday season, we should try to remember to keep looking for ways to be an encouragement to others. Romans 6 tells us that we will be rewarded for all of the little things we do to try to make someone else’s world a little brighter. There will be a day when we will see the ripple effect of our ‘little’ bits of love that we have shared over the years.
This Thanksgiving weekend is probably the one time all year that thousands will focus on what we are grateful for. We will think about our families, our health, our finances, our friends, our faith, our freedom and the peace that we live with everyday. Gratitude tends to draw us to the here and now. To how great our lives are today. To all that we can see and feel in this moment.
But let’s not forget two other things….the past and the future. What events in our lives brought us to where we are today? What has the Lord done over the years that has brought us to prosperity, peace, health and unity? And if we don’t have those things, what is He doing right now in us that is leading us to those things?
And the future? Like in Romans 6? The rewards for surviving the really tough days? The losses? The fears? The strength and faith that we had to dig deep for in order to survive a tragedy or an overwhelming trial?
No matter what problems we have faced in the past or that we are facing today, the future is bright for anyone that has put their trust in the King of kings and Lord of lords. We know all the passages that tell us about it, but how often do we really think about it? Today’s problems tend to blur our vision for the future, don’t they?
In addition to the many things to give thanks for in our today, we can be thankful for what all that waits for us in eternity ….a rainbow world, golden streets, light, love, infinite and complete peace. To be able to SEE Jesus. To have our faith become sight. All that we believe, desire and hope for will be seen and experienced in ways that are beyond imagination. The restoration of the Garden of Eden. The complete lack of sin, death, hate, cruelty, violence and fear. We can give thanks for all of these as well as the blessings we experience today.
What else will be waiting for us in our eternal future? A joyful reunion with our loved ones. Our parents, spouses, children, siblings, closest friends, dearest brothers in the Lord. We will see them all again. How grateful we are for that hope.
And who else will be there? Those that we have touched their lives somehow in the here and now. The ones we gave a drink of water to, or prepared a meal for them or that we visited in their prison of heartache and pain. The ones that we sent a note or card to. The ones that we encouraged to not give up. The one we called or messaged knowing that they were hurting or afraid or worried. The ones we never met but that we gave our prayers for. The friends of friends.
All those ‘little’ bits of love that we have shared. Whether they were many or few, we will see the fruit of every kindness, every prayer, every gesture of love…the things we have done for others out of gratitude for what the Lord has done for us.
The gifts of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Once we start thinking of all that the Lord has done for us since the day we took our first breath until we take our last one, it just may be our best Thanksgiving Day ever.