On Thankfulness

Thanksgiving is my favorite American Invention. What a great idea: a day to think of all the good things that you have, a day to spend with your family, and a day to eat great food. Does it really get much better than that?

Often I take my blessings for granted. Well, I am always thankful, I think. I hope. I just don’t usually think about it. So, I thought that it would be profitable to make a list of some things that I love – things that I am thankful to have. Perhaps this will encourage you, reader, to think of your own blessings and remember them as we go into the Thanksgiving season.

Anyhow. Here is my list of thinks I am thankful for. Things I love:

  • Gotta start this list with the glorious redemption that I have in Christ – without Him this list would be impossible
  • My wonderful family – who love me all the time regardless of all the super-stress that I’m sure I cause them on a regular basis
  • Friends who love to talk, encourage, and never give up on me
  • Chocolate (is it possible that I haven’t mentioned chocolate on my blog yet? – this needs to be remedied)
  • That moment when it is raining and the sun comes out and shines through the rain-leaden trees and glistens on the leaves
  • The ability to get out of bed in the morning and look forward to what is going to happen during the day
  • The inexplicable confidence I have that there is always something good coming around the next life-corner
  • Pearls
  • A really great key change for the final verse of an ancient hymn
  • The really stunning pale shade of green that is only found in a hill of Pine Trees in Maine
  • Long conversations
  • That He is making everything beautiful in His time (Ecc 3:11)
  • When the moon is out and the sun is still setting and the leaves are golden and the sky is pink
  • Funny moments around the dinner table, or driving with the boys in the car
  • Dusty Pink Roses
  • Good books, preferably hardcover, smelling like second-hand bookstore or pipe smoke
  • That sanctification is a work of God’s Free Grace and I don’t have to figure out how to do it all by myself

Well. These are by no means all the things that I am thankful for – and I’m sure that I will come up with a lot more things, but if I saved this post until I’d finished my list I think I’d be writing forever. And that is an encouraging thought, is it not?

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Because I haven’t talked about the weather recently . . .

Waiting for the first snow of the season is very difficult — it’s talked about in the news for days in advance — people that come into work say things like, “have you got your snow boots out?” and children start praying for snow days (heck — I start praying for snow days!). Then (as we saw this past week) the long-awaited day arrives with blue skies — not really the Nor’ Easter they were all shouting about, huh? We resign ourselves to the chilly wind and sharp cold with no soft, frosting-like sheen to take the edge off. We hunker down, roll our eyes, and get on with our work. It’s cold.

Sometimes this happens and the snow never arrives — it turns into rain or falls farther out to sea. Those are the sad days, when all waiting seems futile and hopes are dashed. And somedays the snow comes, and falls, and it is glorious.

I think that waiting for snow is like waiting on God. It’s not an inactive “finger-drumming” wait, it’s a time of preparation for what He will do. Just as we put on the storm door and split the wood, so too do we put on love and good deeds as we wait on the Lord for His next work, or for guidance. Sometimes we prepare for a long time — its seems that God will never reveal His will or give His gifts. But the Lord, unlike the snow, is always coming. He is always working out His plan of redemption in the hearts and minds of His children. He is always working to bring His grace to bear in their lives — practically and wholly. he is always working to bring His peace and joy in the lives of those who are in pain. Sometimes, as when the sky is clear, we can’t see God’s creative hands at work — but we trust that He is there, and that he is active.

And, when the snow falls, it is both beautiful and treacherous. Beautiful in its design — its perfection, its prevalence, its purity. Treacherous in its blinding-light, its hidden-bumps, and its uncontrollable-swirling.

Let us then wait on the Lord who will prepare for us a destination of soft landings and warm fires, and let us trust that He will hold our hands as we walk through the blinding storm of this life.

The first snow came on Saturday night. And it was glorious in its power. In His power.