It was a restless night. Not a bad night, just one in which my mind would not turn off. I moved from my bed, to the short couch, to my recliner; and never was really able to fall asleep. Fortunately I only have 4 reports to do today and one spreadsheet to create. I hope to be finished with work by noon.
I typically would write a “Thanksgiving Post” listing all the things that I am thankful for. However, I’m not going to do that this year. There is too much that I am thankful for. My list would be a mile long. Because my crew and I are completely dependent upon our God, we’ve learned to be thankful for everything–big and small. And the God of all grace continues to provide and meet our needs. Maybe not exactly when or how we would like him to, but they are met nonetheless–in His timing and perfect way.
Take for instance yesterday. Bethany called me from school yesterday, so excited she could hardly speak. Her chorus teacher has arranged for her to have voice lessons with someone in town on an absolutely free scholarship. Her teacher really thinks she has a gift and wants to nurture it as much as possible. To say we were overcome with thankfulness is not adequate enough.
And so this year, because the “Thank You” list is so long, I’m focusing more on learning what thankfulness means. It’s a part of my every day time with God, but so often I gloss over it like I’m reading a laundry list–not with the sincerity of gratitude that my God deserves for the grace He has extended to me and my crew.
That grace is hard to accept. And yet without it, we wouldn’t be surviving. But here we are. And I am thankful.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says:
Paul seemed to master this; I have not. All circumstances? Even the evil, the hard, the ugly, the criminal? The verse says “all circumstances”. What would that look like, if I could get to a place where I could thank God for the pain. What would it look like if I could get to the place to thank God for the suffering? I can almost grasp it–I can almost grasp this concept now, but there was a time when this was so foreign to me that I rejected it. But now I see how God has and is working to shape and mold my life through all circumstances, the beautiful and the ugly. There was a time that I was adamant that I didn’t want the things that had happened to me in life to be “for something” or “for some reason”. I couldn’t bear it. But now I can. I don’t want to waste my pain. I don’t want to waste my suffering.
O, my friends, my heart is full of thanksgiving. So much so that I can barely find the words to write about it this morning. Psalm 7:17 sums it up best, I believe:
He is righteous. I am not. He is grace. I am not. He is love. I am not. And therefore I will be grateful to the Lord, the Most High today. I’m in the middle of putting up my Christmas tree (too early, but want to get it over with), and I imagine that today will be a day filled with singing once my job work is done and I can turn on my worship music, decorate the tree, and enjoy all the sweet and bittersweet memories with each and every ornament.
If you are reading this today, please know that I am grateful for you. Your reading my ramblings is such an encouragement to me. All I can say is a simple thank you.