Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. – Psalm 100:4
The Thanksgiving season is upon us. Thursday, we will be celebrating this year’s Thanksgiving Day. Families and friends will gather in homes and other places to enjoy a hearty meal, desserts, maybe watch football, or even play a game of football as a family. My oldest grandson told me this weekend he was going to play football with his Dad’s family this weekend while visiting in Ohio.
But so often we enter this day as just another holiday and though we talk about this holiday being a day to be thankful, we oftentimes overlook what we are thankful for. Yesterday while in church I heard the pastor state we shouldn’t be thankful only once a year; but, our lives should be lived as a Thanksliving. Being thankful for what God has done for us every day all year long.
So, what am I thankful about?
First, my relationship with God. The fact that He loved me so much that He gave His only begotten Son so that I could have eternal life and have it more abundantly. That even in my depraved state, Jesus loved me to the point of death so that I can be saved. Without Him and the relationship I have with Him, all those I mention below would not be possible.
I am thankful for my wife. For over 41 years she has stood beside me and have been a blessing to me, in the good times and the bad. We have worked through them together. She has been a wonderful Mom to our two children, she has been an adopted mom to our in-law children and treat them as if they are her own. And of course, she is a great Memom to our grandchildren. Always having that right snack around the house.
I am thankful for my children. They are a delight of my eyes and a joy to my heart. They too have blessed me beyond measure. I have been blessed that they have stayed in the area and I can see them often. I know many parents do not have that luxury and I am grateful that God has seen to it they have been able to stay close by. And I am thankful for the ones God placed in my children’s path to marry. My in-law children are as much a part of my family as my own children and I like to think of them as my own.
Proverbs tells us that “Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly” (Pro. 17:6). Or as some translations say, “of the age” or “old men.” I don’t consider myself none of those yet, but my grandchildren are a crown. One of the most enjoyable times in my life now is my grandchildren climbing in my lap to share Peanut M&Ms or to watch, as one calls it, “Kirock.” For those that don’t understand the language, that stands for Coyote of Roadrunner and Coyote. What a joy it is to watch them grow.
I am thankful for my extended family, my brother who has been a support to me in so many ways after our Dad died when I was 14 years old. Offering me wisdom though I didn’t listen to him when I was much younger. A sister who died quite some time ago, who while I was growing up, always showed her love to me. My in-laws, Joanne’s family, as they have been like brothers and a sister to me. Joanne’s Mom as she has treated me as one of her own.
Thankful of the many friends I have, too many to count or mention individually. Scripture tell us “the sweetness of a friend is better than self-counsel” (Prov. 27:9). Thankful for my church family. Thankful for my partners in ministry throughout the state of North Carolina and the nation (you know who you are).
To have all the family and friends and knowing my Savior Jesus Christ that I am thankful for would not have been possible if it had not been for my Mom and Dad, who both many years ago, have gone to be with the Lord. Who made sure the first time I went to church was nine months before I was born. They made sure I was in church regularly hearing the Word of God. To that I am very grateful because all the others that I mentioned above may not have been possible.
Thank you to all of you who have been an inspiration and an encouragement to me throughout my life.
To the adventure and challenge to disciple men – Mike.