I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.
As we turn the corner into November, we are running headlong into the holiday season. The year seems to have suddenly accelerated and is flying by us like an Amtrak train through downtown Three Oaks.
The first “biggie” of the holiday season is, of course, Thanksgiving…the pinnacle of November. Family festivities, fabulous feasts, and (did you think I could ignore it?) football are the holiday hat trick. We all know that this is more than just “Turkey Day”, yet it remains easy to talk about giving thanks without actually having and expressing heart-level gratitude to the One who provides all that we have. I want to take this opportunity to do just that and thank the Lord for some of His many blessings.
I thank the Lord for His providence, as He gives us life, provides the very air we breathe, and allows us all of our varying levels of comfort in this life.
I thank the Self-Revealing one for showing us His power, beauty, wisdom, order, and majesty in Creation but choosing to reveal His heart, character, and will to us in the Scriptures.
I thank our sovereign Creator for the trials that test my faith and develop the perseverance I need to be who He has called me to be. I likewise thank Him for the weaknesses that force me to learn humility I would not choose on my own.
I thank the One who knows my every need for providing the perfect mate and partner for me, the one who fills all my gaps and makes me far more than I could be on my own. There is not one single aspect of my life that is not better because of her.
I thank our perfect Father for allowing me the privilege of reflecting Him, however imperfectly, to the five children He entrusted to me, and for the wonderful, Christ-loving spouses He provided for four of them (so far!), as well as the 8 grandchildren (so far!) He has entrusted to them.
I thank God for parents who loved me, disciplined me, and raised me to know Jesus Christ and the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Him.
I thank the Giver of All Good Things for the profoundly happy childhood I spent with my brother and sister, forging bonds to last a lifetime, and for their devoted Christian mates and the niece and nephews I have been privileged to love.
I thank our gracious God for causing me to marry into the best family any man could hope for, and for the joys and pains we have shared. I am a better man because of my extra sister, mother, and father. I also remain thankful for my brother-in-law who has been freed from this world to be with the Lord.
I thank God for growing up under sound preaching and teaching in the church of my youth, where my young faith was both supported and challenged.
I thank the Lord who loves us sacrificially for the privilege of serving in the United States Air Force and for the growth and opportunities it provided for our growing family.
I thank our all-wise Lord for the guides and mentors who shaped my life and character along this journey, from Sunday school teachers and pastors to football coaches (you know who you are), teachers, and employers.
And as I bring this note to a close, I thank our mutual Father for my Real Life sisters and brothers in Christ, who have loved me well and honored me far more than I deserve over these past 18 years. I remain astonished that God has chosen to use the little band of believers that began to meet back in 2003 to change lives and build His eternal Kingdom. I am thankful to Him for faithful Overseers who are not only brothers to me but partners in ministry and trusted, loved friends. I am truly blessed to call you all my family!
It is good to count our blessings, to recognize that our Father generously gives only good gifts, working every single thing together for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory. May He be forever praised!