Content & Images © 2008-2014 - Rachel Miller, Ink Road Originals LLC, All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 21, 2011

Six Things I'm Thankful For

It is almost Thanksgiving here.  For those international readers who may not know, Thanksgiving is a celebration in the United States where we traditionally gather with family and sometimes friends to eat a banquet and thank the Lord for the good things that happened to us this year.  It was first celebrated at harvest time by a group of our earliest settlers, after a terrible winter that killed many of their members.

For so many in the US today, the Christian origin of the holiday, together with the focus of the occasion, seems to have been lost.  Many of us have not known the kind of hunger and tragedy that those first settlers had faced.  That itself is something to be thankful for.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the joy of seeing family members who have traveled far, and we forget the other blessings we have received throughout the year.

So, at the risk of seeming trite, I wanted to thank God for my blessings today.  I know that just going through the exercise will improve my outlook.  I encourage each of you to do the same!
  • I'm thankful for the lessons God has patiently taught me this year.  More than anything, I think the lesson has been to hang on and wait for His plan to unfold, because "godliness with contentment is great gain," (1 Timothy 6:6 NIV).  Waiting can be frightening and frustrating. I've been through the whole spectrum of emotions, but I'm thankful that God held me throughout.
  • I'm thankful for the great people I have come to know in the past year.  I don't have permission to specifically name names, but you know who you are.  You've taught me to put my life in perspective, particularly in a global perspective, and the freshness of your faith and steadfast hope in the Lord that you have exemplified is inspiring! "I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.  For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge—God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you," (1 Corinthians 1: 4-6 NIV).
  • I'm thankful for the great people I've known for another year.  I'm so glad you put up with my shortcomings, and I'm thankful for all the ways you have helped me throughout my life.  You are priceless! "How can [I] thank God enough for you in return for all the joy [I] have in the presence of our God because of you?" (1 Thessalonians 3: 9 NIV).
  • I'm thankful for the difficult people and trying times that God used to make me grow.  It hurt at the time, and remembering still hurts, but I see that I learned invaluable lessons that easy times don't teach.  "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance," (James 1: 2, 3 NIV).  You put me to the test, but I have forgiven you.
  • I'm thankful for the great distances God has carried me over the years.  Earlier this week, I found an old photograph of myself, from almost ten years ago.  I could see some naivety that the past ten years has knocked out of me, and I found myself thanking God for being my Teacher and Friend, but most of all for carrying me through it all, as I know He will continue to do.  I am His handiwork, and I am who I am because of His faithfulness, "rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as [I was] taught, and overflowing with thankfulness," (Colossians 2: 7 NIV). 
  • I'm thankful for the material blessings God has brought my way.  So often over the past year I have focused too much on my finances, and I've given worry too much of a place, but when I look back over the year, I see it has been the most prosperous year in memory for me.  I'm still not where I want to someday be, but I see the miracle in it all.  In a struggling economy, I've been blessed with an increase, and in the global economy, I am richer than most people on the planet.  The only appropriate attitude is gratitude! "The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.  I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread," (Psalm 37: 23-25 NIV).

 I could go on, but I think that is enough to get everyone thinking about their blessings.  What do you have to be thankful for?  Write about it on your own blog, and backlink your post to this one.  I'd love to read it!  Thank you for being such faithful readers!