I’m thankful for Jack Russell puppies. I’m thankful for 8 year old boys who beg daddy to play ball… nintendo… watch movies… and wrestle. I’m thankful for a lovely wife who was “barren” (to use the old Biblical term) and whom the Lord saw fit to bless with a natural pregnancy.
I’m thankful for my firstborn, although I wasn’t there when he came into the world. I’m thankful for surprises. I’m thankful for God blessing us long after we thought we couldn’t get pregnant. I’m thankful for little girls’ smiles when Daddy comes into the room.
I’m thankful for 5 year old daughters who get in trouble at their Granna’s house, and say, “I want my Mama,” even though she is spoiled rotten. I’m thankful for her little singing voice, her imagination, her sillyness, and even her sassyness. I’m thankful that she when she was born, 28 Christian brothers and sisters helped us pack, move, unpack, and eat in our new home within 36 hours. I’m thankful for fellowship in Christ, and adoption as sons into the Kingdom.
I’m thankful for a brother who has become a successful farmer, utilized his talents, and waited on the Lord to provide. I’m thankful for a mother who wants to cook so well – AND DOES – even though she thinks she can’t. I’m thankful she can’t smell (or effectively taste).
I’m thankful for a dad who wants to take walks; for his willingness to listen, to help, to jump in anytime he can. I’m thankful for my childhood, teen, and young adult heritage in Athens, AL. I’m thankful for old friends, new friends, basketball, quiet walks in the woods and rushing water.
I’m thankful for a beautiful wife. For her patience, her persistence, her resolute determination to be the best she can be, even though a little unborn baby boy’s growth nauseates her so. For her reaching out to hold my hand, for her kiss, for her love and dedication to the Lord.
I’m thankful for the church at Bowling Green. For Shepherds who love their sheep, and want to guide and search, and pray repeatedly. For the power of redemption in the lives of countless lost ones. Lost ones who always thought they were found, until they realized just how lost they were. I’m thankful for friendships with other passionate believers. For brothers and sisters who know me well, and for those who aren’t inside my head. For the hard times, the easy times, the praise, the prayer, the fellowship. I’m thankful for grace, mercy, and peace through prayer when my head is spinning with concerns, worry, and fear.
I’m thankful for Jesus. For the power of his love to look into my eyes of denial, betrayal, and failure; and to say, “Father, forgive them.” I’m thankful for his life; for his healing the sick, for his listening to the poor in heart, for his prayers and service to those who don’t deserve a King, much less a King’s washing their feet. I’m thankful for his mercy and his hope more than anything. I have often fallen short. I have often started and not finished. I have often not been what I should and sometimes not been the father I must be.
I’m thankful for Immanuel. For God with us, leaving his Spirit in our hearts as a Comforter. Though He is not with us to wrap His arms around us, to serve us, to touch us, cry with us, and laugh with us – I’m thankful that God loves us enough that His Son couldn’t possibly NOT sacrifice his perfect life for the imperfect. Praise God. Forgive us, Lord. Help us to receive your grace with thankful hearts, and live in grace – and the peace with passes all comprehension in Christ Jesus.