It is Thanksgiving week! Most people have purchased their turkeys. The plans for the family gathering have been made. Some will stay put and family will come to them. Others will have to travel hours - by car, bus, train or plane. Still others will have very small gatherings while others will have large, boisterous gatherings. And then there will be those who have nobody to get together with. They will heat up their TV dinner or their Weight Watchers meal and will stare out the window, wishing that they had someone to share their beef stroganoff with at this time of the year.
That leads me to think - what are you thankful for? I know that we should be thankful all year long but at Thanksgiving time it just seems right to think about life and be thankful. So what are you thankful for? I labeled this blog "Thanksgiving 1" because I really think that I will be writing more than one blog about being thankful. So I will start.
What am I thankful for? The first and foremost thing I am thankful for is my Lord Jesus Christ. Without Him and all that He did for me, I could not be thankful at all. How can you be thankful when you have no future? Jesus gives me life - true, full, happy life. That means that I am blessed beyond what I could ever imagine. It means that when I am filled with joy at the way things are playing out, I can be thankful for how the Lord is blessing me. It also means that when life is really bad, terrible, rotten, dark, depressing, etc., I can still be thankful. I can be thankful that my Lord Jesus Christ has walked through those bad, terrible, rotten, dark and depressing times for me. He knows what I am facing and how I am feeling. And He tells me, "Come to me" with your burdens, your fears, you depression, with all that you have that disgusts you, and I will give you relief. "You don't have to carry it yourself," He says to me.
WOW! That is a powerful thought. I don't have to carry all that stuff myself. Why? Because He has already carried my burden. And He continues to carry it. It isn't just that He carried it many years ago, it is the fact that He is carrying it right now. Am I willing to give up my burdens and let Him carry it? Most of the time the answer would be, "No." For some reason, it seems I always want to carry my own burden. He understands and gently leads me to that place where I am willing to give it up to Him. Like the child that wants to prove himself, I want to prove myself to God and the world around me. I am strong. I am self-sufficient. I am able to handle all of my life myself.
But I can't. I need Him to carry me. And I am thankful that He does. He doesn't get tired of my childish actions. He doesn't get tired of forgiving me for my foolish, sinful ways. He doesn't get tired of my whining or my frustrating ways. He doesn't get tired of seeking me out when I get lost in the briers of sin. He never tires of binding up my broken heart or life. He is always there for me in whatever happens in my life - even when I mess things up royally.
And in the end, He saves me. Even if He did none of these other things, even if He left me alone to fend for myself, it would be enough that He saved me. I am not going to hell. I will not be damned for an eternity. Heaven is mine - now. He has saved me from death and sin and the devil. He has given me true life. That is why I am first and foremost thankful for the life of faith that has been given to my.
Next up...the material things that I am thankful for this year.