Tonight I reflect back on thanksgiving. I am sipping tea from a black mug with the large word HOPE inscribed. It also says …those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength…they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint [Is 40:31].
I think I’ll have another sip.
This weekend, it seems, came not a moment too soon. The past weeks were tougher than usual. As we approached the last round of chemotherapy for Heidi, the kids got sick and struggled with going to school.
Yet the effect of thanksgiving is a strange thing. The longer I pause, the more I have to be thankful for. The more I actually want to run outside into the dark rainy streets with an air of worship. This weekend we were truly thankful, this weekend we really worshiped.
Wanna know why?
Just because God wants to be experienced not just believed in – My pastor’s main point on Sunday was this. It’s a refreshing one. My God is like no other, He is present in my home tonight filling it with a tangible love. Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him [Ps 34:8]
Just because I could sing – hands raised, eyes welling over with tears “Thank you for saving me.” Really I can’t imagine where would I be without the saving grace of Jesus? God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift…And he did it by means of Jesus Christ [Rom 3:23-24].
Just because friends and family refuse to forget about us – Though the closest distance to any parent or sibling is about 1500 kms, the cards and calls and gifts keep rolling in! And of course, who can eat turkey alone? Friends remembered and did all of the cooking just for us!
Just because Zachary is my son – Now he’s snoring on the couch across from me, too worried about ‘robbers’ to fall asleep in his bed tonight. But I don’t care, he’s adorable, sleep has transformed him into a mascot of peace.
Just because Anastasia is my daughter – She cracked us up this morning testifying on the state of her bedroom: “the opposite of clean is what I’m good at.” Of all the daughters in the world, I get to hang with HER, at least until she’s all grown up and says all grown up things.
Just because not all times are easy times – I am grateful to God for the last 8 months. They’ve been hard but have provided the necessary resistance for my family and me to grow stronger. Many times we have come to our limits. Only to find upon arriving there that strength is perfected in weakness. You can read more on our journey, click here.
Just because what I see is not what I get – …we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and so worship [Heb 12:28]. Mark Buchanan says, “What we see will vanish, never to reappear. What is coming is permanent, never to diminish. It endures forever.” I’ll take that perspective into the rest of this week for sure.
Hope can be both real and illusive at the same time. It is a certainty, an assurance; but on things unseen. Thanksgiving returns hope. When you get it, you walk and run and sing, really loud!
Why did you sing this weekend?
P.S. it’s not too late to try.