Saturday, December 1, 2012

Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful

Dear Ones:  What an unbelievably wonderful (capable of eliciting wonder or astonishment) Thanksgiving holiday we had.  There are four of us siblings who take turns hosting Thanksgiving festivities.  This year we all went to my suster's (Becky) and her husband's (Dan) house.

It couldn't have been a better time.  We celebrated muther's 89th birthday, ate too much, laughed, cried, hugged, told stories on one another, had a therapy session to determine whether or not any of us were high maintenance (funny story), and "cussed and discussed" the Cowboys (they lost, durn 'em).

We grew closer to each other as we reveled in the love we had for one another and the memories we shared because of it.  We remembered our daddy and the heritage he left for us and thanked the Lord he was in Heaven.

Then on Monday evening, Muther, Frank and I had the privilege of having dinner with some life-long missionary friends.  I had not seen my childhood friend in 50 years and had never met his wife, but I really connected with her from the moment we introduced ourselves to each other. I had not seen his dad in about 25 years.  Frank had never met any of the family, but he had heard me talk about them and knew they were dear to me.

As long as it had been, when I saw them both, it was like yesterday, and we picked up our conversation as if it were yesterday.  We also shared memories, laughed, shared who we were today, and what was going on in our lives. We shared pictures of family, spoke of our triumphs and heartaches, and rejoiced in God's faithfulness.

They told me I looked just like my dad and had his mannerisms and sense of humor.  My thought at that moment was how much I wanted to have my heavenly Daddy's attributes as well. That is certainly what my dad wanted for himself and his family. The thought was precious to me.

I might not see our dear friends again until we meet at the feet of Jesus, but we will pray for one another, bear one another's burdens, and rejoice with one another in answered prayer (Gal. 6:2).

Do you have family and friends with whom you have that kind of bond?  It is priceless, right?

As we were driving home, I was thinking of this season of Thanksgiving.  I do try with all of my heart to have an "attitude of gratitude" no matter what is going on in my life.  I believe it is important to my spiritual maturity and happiness.

There is ALWAYS something for which we can be thankful.  The Lord commands us to be thankful in everything and every circumstance "for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (I Thess. 5:18).

I began wondering why it was so important to be thankful, why so many strong statements are in the Word of God about gratitude. I believe it is a matter of obedience.  I don't believe it is possible to be depressed, unforgiving, selfish, or have any of the other attitudes and characteristics that keep us from living abundantly when we have a grateful heart.

I thought today that even if none of the things I had just written about were true in my life, I could live an abundant life because of Calvary.  Because of that sacrifice, every occurrence in my life can be a source of gratitude and thankfulness.  When I live as unto the Lord, everything that happens, whether it brings me prosperity or adversity, is equally a source of joy; because when I am grateful for it, it will make me more like the Lord Jesus.

Being thankful keeps me in a spirit of prayer, gives me the ability to love others the way I should.  I have had people in my life that were absolutely intolerable to be around until I started praying for God's blessings on their lives.  The result was blessing on my life.  As I said before, it is a matter of obedience.  Obedience and gratitude are eternally connected.

Thank you Lord Jesus for Calvary, for the power of your resurrection and its availability to me each moment of every day;  thank you for every circumstance of my life; thank you for my daddy's and mother's legacy of knowing and loving You and Your Word that right now, today, causes our family to love You and one another more.

Thank you for your Holy Spirit that bears witness with my spirit that I belong to you.

Whether I shout it, speak it in conversation, dwell on it in my heart, or whisper it in my dreams,  May my heart's cry ever be, Thank you, Lord Jesus, for Calvary.

What a wonderful Savior.  Still approaching each day with joy, Love to all, Mecca