What are you thankful for?
When I am asked, my first response all too often involves material things… my home, sufficient food, warm clothes, a car to drive. Or it may be things that I enjoy… beautiful flowers, warm sunshine, the crisp days of fall, the bright colors of the leaves. The privilege of living in a free country is pretty high on my list. Then there is always good health and, of course, my children, grandchildren, and friends.
I should be thankful for those things. Each one is a blessing that God has given to me to enjoy. But what if I didn’t have all these things I am thankful for? Would I still be thankful?
What if my health fails? What if (like many Christians around the world) I had to leave my home and live in a tent in the desert. What if there wasn’t enough food? What if, like Job, I lost everything? These are the questions that make me stop and think…
What am I really thankful for?
Since I have never faced that deprivation, it is hard to speak for what I would do or how I would feel, but as I look at scripture, I find answers and I make them mine.
I am thankful for Jesus. He came to earth and walked the dusty streets, experienced hunger and thirst, knew what it was to be human, and ultimately He gave His life so that I would live. All through the Old Testament, God’s people looked forward with hope to the day when the Savior would come. Because He did come and made the incomprehensible sacrifice, I have hope and, with Job I can say “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives…” (Job 19:23)
I am thankful that God is with me. He walks beside me and will give me the strength to face what comes. With Joshua I can say “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7)
I am thankful that I am His child, the daughter of the King. I do not need to fear. Paul wrote to the Galatians “And because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Galatians 4:6)
I am thankful that He never changes, I can always depend on His goodness. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
I am thankful that I can come to Him at any time and He will be there. “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
I am thankful that nothing can ever separate me from His love. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
I am sure as I continue to search God’s Word, I will find many more things to be thankful for.
My prayer for you all as you celebrate this holiday is that your heart is filled with gratitude for who God is and all that He has done for us.