24 November 2011
My cup runneth over.
This Thanksgiving, tengo muchos motivos para agradecer a Dios… I have a lot of reasons to thank God.
I am thankful to be home, after being away from my family for two Easters, two Fourths of July, one Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day, and birthday.
I am thankful for all the awesome friends that celebrated those days with me. Who am I to complain that I spent January 1, 2011 relaxing on a tiny island in the Pacific? Or that I celebrated my birthday with Spanish food in a restaurant in Panama, surrounded by good friends from my Bible Study? Or that I visited the mountains in Chiriqui, Panama on the Fourth of July? Or that I got to share our mashed potato recipe with my coworkers on Thanksgiving? Or that I got a glimpse of Jesus’ suffering and love for humanity, portrayed through the Holy Week pasos on the streets of Seville, Spain? If you were one of those people God put in my path while so far from everything I knew, “Bendito Dios por encontrarnos en el mismo camino…”
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:3-6).
I am thankful for my church. Where else could you go for 8 months, disappear for 7, come back for 2, and then disappear for another 11… and still be welcomed with open arms when you come back? Where else do you hear the Word of God clearly spoken, praise God and pray with your brothers and sisters, and get a lifetime’s worth of hugs in one morning? (Hopefully a lot of places! But this one is God’s gift to me so I think it’s pretty special!)
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!”
I am thankful for my family. They are 7 people + 2 brothers –in-law who have to love me no matter what…and they do a pretty good job at it. We are broken, but still held together by a love greater than ours. We make mistakes, but grace covers all. We fall down, He gets us up. We are a testimony to what Jesus can do. And we are a work in progress.
“And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 20:31-32).
I am thankful for God. He keeps me company when I feel lonely. He is my Sustainer. He surrounds me with songs of deliverance. He is my Savior. I know that He is for me—and if God is for us, who can be against us? I am His child, and He delights in me! He also protects me from my own stupidity. He does not lead me into temptation, but delivers me from evil. He knows exactly what I need—which is not always what I want—and He always gives it to me. He answers prayers in some pretty nifty, specific, and jaw-dropping ways. Try Him. He is my Provider—my Jehovah Jireh.
“YHWH is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving” (Psalm 28:7).