This year has been a wild ride to say the least, but we are thankful to the Lord for every moment. Here are seven things that we are thankful for as we look back at 2014. I hope you find it encouraging and relating.
- The kindness of strangers (…now friends). This year I quit my job to go back to school in a different sate and it was no easy decision to make. So when loving people took us in to live with them, until we find our own place, we knew the Lord was caring for us from the basics to the big. We grew to appreciate having access to clean hot water, food when we’re hungry, a bed when we’re tired, and heat when we’re cold. Seeing the love of the people of both the seminary community and the overall Christian community we saw first hand the beauty of being humbled and vulnerable before others and how God’s people are eager to love on you in every way they can and that is truly something to be thankful for.
- The family. I have been exceedingly blessed with a loving wife, obedient and healthy son, a supportive family, and the local church. I know that this is not the case for most people and I know I don’t deserve any of these blessings.
- The gift of loveingkindness. It can be hard to feel gratitude for the people in your life at times when you feel hurt, betrayed, or abandoned by them. People can be hurtful, insensitive and often there is little we can do about it. But by God’s grace we can be kind and loving and should be regardless if we get it in return. With the gift of the Holy Spirit we can choose to treat others with loveingkindness, because Christ loved us while we were still enemies to him. This capacity for lovingkindness is truly a valuable gift.
- The ability to study at seminary. There is so much that the God of the universe has revealed about himself and we have been placed in this wonderful opportunity to learn about who God is and how we are to relate to him. Because God has spoken we can now speak about God. Because he has called us to himself we can come near to him.
- The strength to get through hard times. Having quit my job, losing healthcare, moved across country and looking at my grades after the first semester I realized that we are often stronger than we think, and it’s not until we’re really challenged that our true strength becomes apparent. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying “I am awesome.” I am saying God is awesome to answer prayers and provide the strength. It’s not easy but God is bigger than our problems, tribulations, or difficulties.
- Good Times both past and future. When we think about the past year, we may forget that things we’ve experienced in the past is rooted in God’s good faithfulness to keep his promises. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. May the good times of the past be a pointing forward to God’s goodness in 2015 and ultimately to Christ’s return.
- This moment. The future is uncertain and I am glad it is. The fact that we are alive at this moment, and made it this far, is something to be thankful for.There is so much more I can mention but this will have to do for now. Thank you and happy new year!