Paul writes to the Philippian church in Philippians 1:3, “I thank my God every time I remember you.” I feel the same way when I think of my God, my family members, and my church!
Thanksgiving is just over 2 weeks away and I can’t help but pause and reflect upon what I am thankful for in 2021. When so much is wrong with the world today, it is imperative that we reflect on what is right. Below are my top 4 things I am thankful for today. What are you thankful for today? Do our lists have some of the same items on them? I would encourage you to jot down your own list and share it with those on it.
The old hymn goes:
“Count Your Blessings,
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings;
see what God has done.”
Here is a list of the blessings in my life. It’s not long, but each one is near to my heart and a gift from God.
#1 Blessing – Faith, God, Jesus, Salvation – Whatever you want to call it, the biggest blessing in my life is the promise that there is more! There is an eternal dwelling that Jesus is preparing for all those who claim His name through faith. There will be a new heaven and earth. “God is my father, and Jesus is my brother, and the blessed Holy Spirit is my guide,” the children’s song says. I am just a sojourner here. My home is far away.
#2 Blessing – Family – Those closest to me who know my inner dreams, hopes, and ambitions. My wife, Anita, and I just celebrated our 20 year anniversary with the Kalkaska Church of Christ. She has been right by my side all the way. Our children, Scott and Kaylin, have grown up in the church, and are now branching out into college. I am so proud of their character, integrity, and maturity. My mother introduced me to church as an infant. My father modeled the Christian life for me.
#3 Blessing – Church – The place where people know your name. A place where people can be authentic. A place to serve other people. The Body of Christ is the church. That body consists of human beings committed to the principles of Jesus Christ as laid out in the New Testament of the Bible. My home church in Kalkaska is a huge blessing. As we live life together, we support one another in good times and bad.
#4 Blessing – Missions, Job, Work – God’s direction for my life took me to the county of Haiti located on the island of Hispaniola when I was only 19 years old. I served 13 years with 3 different missions over that time – Go Teach Others (GTO) in St. Marc, Christianville in Gressier, and Sonlight in Port-de-Paix. The labor brought incredible blessings into my life. That experience gave me a worldview unlike no other. I am thankful for that.
What makes your “list of blessings” this time of year? Who or what are you thankful for? Remember that what you are thankful for could be negative experiences too. A health emergency may have brought family members closer. A job loss may have opened up a better opportunity that would not have been there otherwise. Sometimes God allows bad things to happen in our lives only to set us up for something better. So pause your busy day to think about what would make your list.