I had fun with last week’s post about what actually happened last year, and it was true enough. But it’s clear to me that there is a danger for me in being too flippant about the events of life. In particular, there’s a danger in not recognizing, with thankfulness, the sovereign hand of God for our good and, most importantly, for his glory, in all things.
So God himself is, of course, the author and hero of this story that is my life. There’s no meaning, truth, beauty, or goodness apart from Christ. So, with that in mind, I want to be thankful out loud here for a few areas I neglected last week.
The mercy of God in my ordinary life has no greater vehicle than my bride, Gina. She is the primary voice of encouragement in my life (and in my writing) and is a nearly-endless blessing to me in a thousand ways. She is an excellent partner and an enormous helper. There’s no higher calling than that. Our children have been an unbelievable gift, a source of joy and a point of focus for an intentionality in my life I’ve never had before. Thank you, Yahweh.
Our wider family has been a gift as well, from our parents to our siblings and cousins etc. I here include some special friends who have been like family to us. You know who you are.
I thank God for the work he has blessed us with. I have never been more satisfied in occupational matters than I am now. I know the idea of vocation (calling) extends beyond occupation, and that we are called to many things. But I am thankful for my job.
I want to thank the saints at my local church. They have been an unlooked for delight to us, and an experience of meeting in the name of Jesus we are deeply happy in. The pastors have been faithful under-shepherds to the Senior Pastor (Chief Shepherd), Jesus.
Suffering is an ordinary part of fallen life. I thank God that he has been good to us in and out of pain. Life hasn’t been easy for us in many ways, as I know it isn’t for anyone (though we all feel like our pain is unique and particularly difficult). God’s sovereign hand for good in all things is in evidence in our lives. We are thankful for this mercy.
Finally, I mentioned that we had a son. His name is Micah. We gave him this name as, primarily, a tribute to the unmatched glory of God. Micah means “Who is like Yahweh?” The answer is, of course, silence. There is no one like Yahweh (rendered “The LORD” in most translations). No one compares with him. All wholesome delights originate in him, reflecting glory back to the Source.
We want to find our joy in him, and see with clear eyes that all true delight is a gift from him, and we want to be happy about that. As a naturally somewhat-melancholy, anxious type, it’s my prayer that I can set aside the impediments which sprout in my heart, weeding with vigor at the nonsense fruit of vanity.
A Psalm we learned last year is an appropriate way to end this brief exercise in public thankfulness. Maybe you should consider memorizing it as defensive measure in the war on your soul -for when the inevitable attacks come.
46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
May the God of Jacob get glory from us in 2010. He will be exalted, so let’s join in the endless chorus.