As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I am reminded of how much I have for which to be thankful. The Lord meets me every morning at our “spot” and we have such a good time. Some days, I talk more than He does! Other days, I am rendered speechless as I soak up His Word, or as I sit quietly and let the Holy Spirit intercede for me. (Romans 8:26)
As I look back across my life of 30 years, I see how His hand guided me and comforted me. You’ve already heard more than you would probably like about my Dad’s homegoing. You’ve heard how devastating the loss was for me. But my heavenly Father was there, all the time. He cared. He comforted. There was another tragedy in my family that happened two years after Dad’s death. It was a deep wound to me, my husband and children that I won’t soon forget. The Lord’s comforting hand was there again. He saw my tears. He felt my anguish. He proved Himself faithful again. We have been serving in full time ministry for three years, but we have always been at least part time in the Lord’s work for our entire eleven year marriage. We have faced job loss (more than once), financial reversal and stress, sickness and hospital bills and even threats on our lives. Through it all, He was faithful. He never failed me. Ever.
The Lord has not only seen us through hardships, but he has also lovingly blessed and rewarded us far more than we deserve or expect. We moved, rather suddenly, here to Hope last May. The church is letting us use a very nice parsonage. It’s the nicest house we’ve ever lived in. Not only that, but my husband and I both agree that it is exactly what we would look for in a home that we wanted to buy, if we ever had the opportunity to buy one. The church put in a new stove before we moved in and the oven has a delay timer. You can pre-set it to come on at a certain time. I’ve always wanted an oven like that! They put in a new washer and dryer for us because before we moved, mine had “bitten the dust”! 🙂 In October, the ladies of the church came to me and told me that the church wanted to buy me a new dining room table. My old one had been handed down to me by some family members. I had repainted it every time we added a child. It only had four chairs with it, so we used folding chairs to get us all around it. The men of the church handed me a check and said “Go pick one out that has enough chairs for your whole family.” What a blessing! I don’t believe any of this is a coincidence. I believe God blesses His people. These blessings are too specific for them to “just happen”. God knows us. He knows how to show love better than any human can!
He also provides for His people. We’ve never missed a meal. Not because we’ve always had a full pantry, but because God has always provided what we need.
I have lived very far away from family at different times in my life. Each time the Lord gives me a friend, or many friends. He also enables me to get to see my loved ones. Three weeks ago I found out that my older brother, who pastors in Florida, would be coming for Thanksgiving! I haven’t seen his family in two years! Not only that, but my sister is coming this week, also! That is just another of God’s many blessings. I love my family so much. I’m so thankful to be able to see them again.
I am not as faithful to the Lord as I need to be. I fail Him often. I am happy to tell my church family that I make lots of mistakes. I want to be honest, and real, with others. The Christian life isn’t always a time of reaping blessings, but there are benefits every day. (Psalm 68:19) I am thankful that even though I do fail my Lord, He is merciful and loving to me. Even when He must correct me, He does it with love.
I could go on and on praising the the Lord for his goodness to me. I am so unworthy!
Whatever may happen, I have a reason to praise the Lord. I praise Him in the midst of trial because He is in the trial right along with me. He stands beside me. I praise Him in times of blessing because, truly, all blessings come from His hand. As an old song says, “I have so much to Praise Him for!”
Indeed, I do.