Though since Nathan was released to Susan and I from the hospital, it’s been easy to be thankful. As everyone knows, life never really goes as planned. I’ll turn 32 this Christmas Eve and my wife had thought since we married soon after college that we would have 2 or 3 kids by now and then be talking about adoption. Today, I wouldn’t have changed a thing but it was a tough road getting here. Grateful for the endurance that the Lord gives.
All my life I learned that if there were solutions to almost every problem. How many times was I struggling in a class but aced the big project and the final and got the A? In tennis, I prided myself in coming back and forced an extra set? When you’re sick, go to the doctor and get a prescription for antibiotics. Feeling distant from the Lord? Spend some more time seeking Him. Said something insensitive to my wife? Spend time seeking the Lord! Add ministry, family relationships and friendships, car problems, etc, etc, and you get the idea. But not all problems have solutions.
At our church, I was given the job of roaming around with the mic for a time a time of sharing during our Thanksgiving Eve Service. It was nice sharing as a community. People said some beautiful things and I was touched. My wife shared too and I was very grateful for her words (She also went first and I appreciated that as well).
That doesn’t mean it’s been the easiest year. My grandmother died this year after fighting years and years of a lung disease. I miss her very much but grateful for her life and faith. Grateful especially that one of my most prayed words were answered when she met Nathan on Mother’s Day. She had just gotten released from the hospital and we had just got him. This year was the first time in years that Susan truly looked forward to the day. My sister flew in from AZ, all the family gathered at my grandmother’s house – it was great. Since we were without a senior pastor, I was given the privilege of preaching and it became a very special service. It just all came together that Mother’s Day.
Besides my family, I am grateful for the students (and their families) that I get to serve. Thankful for our new senior pastor. And most days, I sincerely enjoy working with our staff. I’m honored to be a part of our church and am so appreciative of their support in my seminary education. Then there are the countless friendships that I enjoy.
I could go on and on, I am just in that mode right now. And I know I haven’t written anything on salvation (Please don’t be that guy/girl who comments on that because this whole post is about that). I spent some time thinking about previous years. I also thought of those who were hurting this year. For many it’s the first time without a parent or their spouse, widowed or divorced. For many, it’s yet another without their child. I hurt for those who spend their holidays in hospitals or planning funerals. Car accidents and news reports of terrorists grieve me more on holidays. So do the genocides all throughout the world and other tragedies. I know this points to some flawed thinking but truth is, these hard realities plague me almost every day – less of course on the days that I am more self-seeking.
May the Lord be near those who are hurting today. May the Lord be faithful to those who have praised Him and to those who have forgotten Him. To Him, I give thanks.