“Thanks be to God!,” wrote the Apostle Paul. “He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
There is so much for which I am thankful at this time of the year. My health, living in America, knowing Christ on a personal level, being financially stable, a family for which I have every right to be proud … these are blessings I never take for granted.
And, I note with the Apostle Paul, I owe it all to God. Yes, I believe in God. The God the Bible portrays as a father figure, watching over his own with love and justice, is real. I have chosen to respect his design for my life … and he has been good to me!
This is not to say that life has always been a walk in the park. Like so many others, I, too, have been to hell and back. But, with the Psalmist, I have discovered that “when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, behold, you are with me.” In my deepest, darkest moments, God was there … and he was not silent.
Yes, we are thankful, and rightly so. For some of us, it is the result of being forgiven for an irresponsible past … or an undisciplined lust … or an addiction … or a temper that is out of control. Yes, we have been there, and we still have a lot of changing to do. But we have been changed, and that is beyond belief! We do not boast; we are just grateful!
I was given the advantage of being reared in a Christian home. Thousands of babies were conceived at the same time I was, and yet I – the real, eternal me – was placed in the womb of a woman who loved God and raised me accordingly. My father was a man of honor, a gentleman of great character who set an example and showed me the way to honesty and integrity. This accident of birth gave me a healthy start in life I could have discovered in no other way. Why me? I cannot justify the fact … I am just thankful!
Twenty years ago I was recovering from bankruptcy, living on the road driving a long-haul truck, and without a clue how my future was going to evolve. Who could have predicted that within ten years I would be the beneficiary of a loving and stable marriage, own my own home, and, at 79 years of age, have great health! I have, indeed, been blessed beyond what I deserve.
My entire family will be together this holiday. A college tennis coach, a marketing manager, a nurse, a teacher, a preacher, an insurance manager, a real estate appraiser, a business executive, and four healthy great-grandchildren — will make this a Thanksgiving to remember. I am blessed!
And it all comes down to this. “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory – through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Our God is no man’s debtor. He always gives more than he takes away. I cannot imagine what my life – and that of my family – would be like were it not for the influence Jesus Christ has had in each of our lives. We have been honored and blessed – and I am thankful.