My heart has been pondering Thanksgiving the past week and how thankful I am for so many different things. God continues to send me so many undeserved blessings. He has been so gracious to me, my family and to others as well. Have you ever set down and pondered His sovereignty and how He has caused all things in your life to come together for His purposes?
Our church service Sunday evening was centered around being thankful for the many aspects of God's character. God's purposes, his omnipotence and his sovereignty are a few that I found myself thinking about. I am grateful to the One who made me, for all the things that He has caused to happen in my life. I am even grateful for the things that I thought, at the time, were terrible and life crashing.
I am thankful to God for my parents for without them I would not have been given life. God used them to bring this life to this world. I am grateful for that. They raised me in the church. A church that had special people in it that God would use to teach me about Him. My mom and Dad taught me the value of hard work, perseverance and to pay attention to God's creation.
I am thankful for my siblings. We have experienced a lot together and have great memories together. We have gone through some of the most difficult times together yet through it all God caused our bond to grow stronger. I am thankful that God has used them in my life to teach me about His long suffering, loving kindness and patience. I am thankful for their friendship. A bond between sisters is a pretty special one! I also thank God for my brother who I pray will see salvation someday.
I am thankful for hard times. When I think of the different hard times I have experienced, I often think back to my parents divorce. I was in my late teens, early twenties when this occurred, but that did not make it any easier. In retrospect, I see how God used this time in my life to draw me closer to Him and to teach me. I believe in Romans 8:28 and how God causes all things to happen, ALL things....for my good. This case is no different. God has used this divorce to bring a special man into my life, my step dad. I am thankful for him and his love for his grandchildren and step kids. God has used this divorce to help a friend who came along later in, my life to think right, to be able to listen to her and help her understand what she is going through. I see God's purposes through adversity. I may not ever see them all, but knowing this gives me great peace and joy.
I am thankful for my in-laws..for from them came one of my greatest blessings from God, my husband. He is one of the most Godly men I know. He is a magnificent example of a Godly father. He is kind, patient, longsuffering and loving. He treats me and the children so wonderfully. He is so wise. He shows so much courage in the face of hard things. He has done many things and had many encounters that I would have probably turned and ran the other way in fear or just not done because of fear. I admire him. He is my hero, my love.
I am thankful for my children. I am thankful that they have good health. I love that God gave Justin and I four beautiful children to cherish. They are truely a gift from God to us. I love that they are obedient, smart and talented. I love even more that they know who God is and what He has done for them. I am thankful that God brought one of our children to us from Ethiopia. I love what that has done for all of us. It has caused us to be more dependent on Him and has taught us to be more thankful, less focused on "stuff" and on what is comfortable to do. I love that God has shown us to do hard things through the life of this little Ethiopian.
I am thankful to my friends, ones both far and near. I am thankful for the encouragement they are to me and for the laughs and tears we have shared together. I am grateful for our church and the family contained there. They are special people in our lives and have been true demonstrators of Christ's love to our family. I am thankful for our pastor Bill. God has given him so much wisdom and I am super thankful that he teaches and shares it with his flock each week. God has used him and his family to bring our family closer to Him and for that I grateful.
I could go on...I just love thinking about how God ordains everything. How he has planned everything for our good. There are times I just can't wrap my mind around it all and that is okay..I don't need to know really. I just know that God has been good to me, given me more grace and mercy than I will ever deserve. He has given us His Word that contains truth. He has given us a Savior and has given me eternal life through His work on the cross. For that I will eternally be thankful.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!