Thursday, November 20, 2008


As this holiday season approaches, I have been pondering what I should be thankful about. As a believer, I know my life should be characterized by thanksgiving and patience, but I fail so miserably in both of those areas that I have been incredibly intentional about both most of the time.

An attitude of thankfulness springs first out of knowing how little I deserve of my own merit. Before my Lord, all my works and human efforts are as dirty rags. I am a beggar at the foot of God's door sang the Normals. If one stops to help a beggar with even a penny and they show no gratitude, we know what the Samaritan's thought is: "How dare they take my help for granted?" Likewise, Christ brought Himself low - lower than all - in order to bring us up out of the mire of the gutter. And likewise, I so often acknowledge His gift with my lips but my heart is far from grateful until I reflect on how low my natural estate is.

So this Thanksgiving, as is fitting for each day I live in His grace, I am thankful to the Lord for laying down His life, for entering our world in a lowly shed, and for laying His life down on the cross. By doing so, He has blessed me with every spiritual gift, gifts which are far more lasting than material goods. I was reading yesterday in 1 Corinthians 10: "No temptation has overtaken you that is no common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." In all the trials and hardships we face, what a blessing it is to know that God's hand carefully controls everything that comes in our path, and He will not let us be stretched beyond our elasticity! I should trust Him implicitly, even when the way seems narrow and dark. What a debt of gratitude I see that I owe Him, whichever way I look. Whether it is for His grace on the cross, His grace of a Christian home and husband, His promise that He will care for my children, His promise that I will face nothing that He won't conquer through me, or His promise to sustain and keep me as a shepherd watches His sheep. There is no dimension in which I do not owe Him my entire self and with it, my gratitude. He has bought me with His blood, and I am now my Beloved's. I will eat and drink and fellowship with my family during this holiday season with all thankfulness to His grace and glory.

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