I was just reviewing the pictures and news that we’ve shared over the past several months. It occurs to me that we are a group perhaps unusually blessed. We have done so many things and gone so many places. We move about in great freedom and we have the great pleasure of sharing in each other’s adventures and tender moments. As I have revisited, my heart has leaped and my heart has fallen. Time as it passes leaves such a variety of pain and pleasure. Life indeed is rich.
Today is a time for thanksgiving as indeed all our time is. I offer to you this prayer of thanksgiving to the Father of love.
“My Father, I thank You for the many blessings you have lavished upon my life; for family, friends, and wealth beyond reason; for freedom in this great land to which You brought my forefathers and freedom in Christ from the bondage of sin; for love that is given and love received; for the winter that freezes the soul and prepares it for the beauty of spring; for cool water and for warm clothes; for those, Your servants, who have laid down their lives that Your word might be preserved for me; for those, my brothers, that have paid the supreme price that I might be free; for the sun that warms the day and for Your comfort that keeps the night; for the beauty of all the Earth and for the hope of Heaven; for each of my children and my children’s children; for Your gracious hand in my life and theirs; for Your generous Spirit that has lent them to me despite my failings and my rebellion toward You; for Your gentle touch that has led them back to the safety and joy of You; for rippling brooks, birds that soar, slithering serpents, galloping steeds, and squirrels in the trees; for Your love that I cannot fathom, Your grace beyond my comprehension, and Your indescribable sacrifice that I would be lost without. Thank You for all that is and for all that will be in You.
Thank You, Lord, that none have seen fit to legislate punishment for the crime of run on sentences.
Thank You, Father, for Your presence and plan at that Thanksgiving day so many years ago when Your servants gathered to give You praise in their wilderness home. Thank You for Your provision as You prepared the land for their arrival; as You prepared their hearts through the Mayflower Compact; as You prepared Squanto, Your servant, to guide their steps; and as You prepared the native peoples to serve Your divine purpose. Thank You that You knelt with them in grief as they placed half their loved ones into the earth that first bitter winter. Thank You that You watched over and provided for those who survived that they might come forth as gold to ever serve You. Thank You that You have preserved their memory for us, to sustain us, to inspire us, and to fill our hearts with awe for You.
Thank You, Lord, for loving me long before I ever loved You. Thank You for seeking out and saving my lost and dying soul. Thank You for the tears that I know I brought to Your great eyes, for the love that I for so long spurned, for reaching out to me when I had run from You. Thank you for my mother and my father as they, though sometimes stumbling and sometimes failing, ever pointed me to You. Thank You for the songs in the morning and the prayers in the night. Thank You for holding their hands as their hearts broke in grief at my refusal to turn to You. Thank You for a godly grandmother and grandfather; for great grandparents who loved and served You; for the precious heritage of godly service that You have provided through countless generations; for Your word which has never failed and never will.
Thank You, Great God of all the Earth, for loving me enough to let me fall to the ground that I might spring forth anew in You. Thank You for raising me up and placing me upon a strong rock by Your side. Thank You that You have promised to never leave me; thank You that You never will.
Thank You, Lord, for all that I am and all that I will be in You. You are my only Strength and my Redeemer. I will ever praise You. I will ever seek Your face.
Thank You, Jesus, for being You that I may belong, wonder of all wonders, to You and that one day I may go to ever be at Your side and never again know pain, sorrow, hunger, or regret.
Thank You for the food we eat; thank You for the world so sweet; thank You for the birds that sing; thank You, God, for everything.”