On the day before Thanksgiving 2016, I wanted to write what has been the biggest impression on my heart. And it is very different than most Thanksgiving expressions, but no doubt this has been my deepest rumination.
Throughout my life, people have often referred to me as 'religious' or 'deeply religious' and, to be quite honest, I have never liked the term. And close observation of my life would cause one to re-evaluate that assessment.
As I read the Bible I see quite a different analysis. I am Adam, standing quiet as a loved one is drawn to disobedience. I am Moses, disobeying clear commandments because they seem trivial. I am Esau, selling my spiritual inheritance for temporary and meaningless contentment. I am Jacob, having to meet a person with my same sins to understand the pain it causes in others. I am Saul, refusing to wait on God's provision in haste and arrogance. I am David, growing stale in comforts of life and quenching the early passions of the shepherd boy who only had the Lord, which was more than enough. I am Nicodemus seeking him at night because I can't see the truth in clear light. I am Peter, making bold pronouncements while the Lord just shakes His head and rebukes me for a lack of understanding and faith. I am James and John, arguing about glory with no clue about the cost of following the example and commands of Jesus.
But today... I am so thankful!
I am thankful that God exists and that He has told me over and over what kind of God He is. He is loving and merciful. He is understanding and gracious.
I am thankful that He has clearly communicated and demonstrated the only truth that really matters. He not only told me He loves me, He has proven it in space, time, and history. Anyone die for us lately?
When I am lying down in a mess of my own making, He scoops me up and wipes me off and hugs me again and again. As I have said before, I am no man looking God in the eye and debating the complexities of existence. No, I am a foolish toddler, stumbling around in awkward self absorption and minuscule understanding.
He is big enough to solve all of my questions and problems. He is powerful enough to hold all of the complexities and issues of the globe.
His generosity includes the gift of His Spirit Who conditions my heart to see and respond in gratitude.
No, I am not religious. I am one big sinner.
But I am also Son of the King, Child of the Master of Everything.
On top of that, He has showered me with grace upon grace, mercy upon mercy, benefit upon benefit. Walking along with a beautiful wife and children is just one of many, many special blessings in my life.
So I praise Him in thanksgiving and rejoice in the freedom of perfect peace and love.
Today is a new chance to grow a little more in that grace and love.
It would be of great benefit to love and serve others...... instead of just myself.