That's what the wood plaque in my friend Jackie's kitchen says. I love that plaque because a) it's red (which is my favorite color) and b) it's been a good reminder for me, often when I need it the most. Kind of like the sermon this past Sunday.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, my church is doing a read-through of the Bible chronologically in a year. Currently we are working our way through the life of David. One of the wonderful things about reading the Bible chronologically is that many of the Psalms David wrote are interdispersed through the readings of his life's events. It adds so much more meaning to the Psalms to know what was going on in David's life when he wrote them. Time and time again, we see David suffering, having multiple attempts on his life by the king, being exiled from his country and separated from his wife, family and best friend, being pursued by armies and captured by enemies... Well, you get the picture. Things were not good for David. Yet the Psalms written during these events poured out gratitude, praise and adoration to God. I loved how our pastor put it Sunday morning: what an amazing God David served, to inspire such love and adoration despite such suffering.
I have to admit by the end of the sermon Sunday I was feeling very ashamed. First of all, because instead of being right on target with my Bible reading, I'm still stuck in Numbers (who gets hung up in Numbers? Seriously!) . But mostly I felt ashamed because of my attitude these past few months.
One of the things I like most about this blog and hate most at the same is the vulnerability it causes. Every now and then I spill my guts on this thing and it's there for the whole world to see, whether it be good, bad, or just plain ugly. Lately my blog entries have been falling into the ugly category. Jim and I have both experienced some major changes over the past few months, and I have not been entirely pleased with all of them. OK, maybe that was an understatement. The point is, my "sufferings" are embarrassingly small in comparison with suffering like David faced and look how he reacted. I have spent the past few months grumbling and complaining to anyone who will listen, and David sang out psalm after psalm of gratitude and love to his God.
I am thankful to serve a God who is holy, perfect, and just. I am even more thankful that He loves me, and has chosen to reveal His truth to me. I am incredibly thankful that He loved me enough to sacrifice His perfect son as atonement for my sin. I am so thankful that even though I continue to sin, He sees me as blameless and pure.
I am thankful that God created my husband, and knit us perfectly together in His timing for His glory. I am thankful for a husband who loves God and places Him above all else. I am thankful that Jim gets the awesome privilege of serving God for his career. I am thankful that God has provided for us with two incomes that allow us to live far better than we deserve. I am thankful that God reveled His truth to us in the area of our finances, so we are able to manage those incomes for His glory. I am thankful that He continues to provide for us and bless us through the generosity of our family and friends.
I am thankful that God gave me such clarity as to how He wanted me to serve Him. I am thankful that sometimes He clouds my vision so that I have to keep searching for Him and His will. I am thankful that God has placed me in a profession that allows me to see Him so vividly in all that I do. I am thankful that He allows me to show a glimpse of His love and His tender mercy to my patients.
I am thankful that God has given me a body that is able. I am thankful for the good health I have had thus far. I am thankful for the poor health I have had, because it reminds me I must depend on Him.
I am thankful that my life is in His control, and that my world is in His control. I am thankful that God knows and wills all that has happened and will happen. I am thankful that I have a destiny beyond this world.
I am thankful for beautiful days, because I see God's majesty in His creation. I am thankful for less-than-beautiful days, because it reminds me that all things work together for my good and His glory.
I am thankful that God has given me knowledge, because it allows me to know and experience Him more fully. I am thankful that God has given me ability to love, because it allows me to know and experience Him more intimately. I am thankful that God has given me the ability to dream, because it reminds me that there is so much more than my small reality.
God, I thank You that there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.