Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. [a]In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. Proverbs 3:5-6, AMP
Gosh, I’ve missed talking to you all. My daughter has battled illness for about a month. Our focus has been on caring for her and I report today that she is so much better. We thank God for healing her and for protecting her from so many things – things we didn’t even know about. Have you ever thought about that? We know only a small portion of what we really face. Holy Spirit dropped that into my heart as I was thanking Him for her healing. Although that reminder from Him was sobering, it also was humbling. Thankful seems like an inadequate word to use, but I am so thankful.
Last night at church our co-pastor, John Skipworth, spoke so eloquently on gratitude. He shared how deeply thankful he is for his life today – a life that could have been so much different. He is a felon, former inmate, and former drug addict who can now say, “But, Jesus…”
As I sat in the pew and pondered my story, my heart and mind drifted over my life. My first thoughts were that my story didn’t seem as dramatic as Pastor John’s. Then, I remembered the sobering, humbling word that Holy Spirit dropped in my heart recently.
I know what I have faced, I have little idea from what I have been protected.
Middle-age gives me the opportunity to look back over my life and recognize some of that favor. How did I escape some of the traps? How did I not let some of the struggles and pain carry me down very dark paths? How have I stayed sane? How am I not addicted to some kind of substance? How have I stayed married for 39 years? How did I raise a godly young woman? How did I get out (I still put one leg in there sometimes) of the pit of fear and insecurity? How…? Oh my goodness, the only answer was and is, “Jesus”. Jesus’ unmerited grace, mercy and favor.
Friends, all of our conversions, redemptions and restorations are dramatic. Gratitude overwhelms me.
Our lives could have been so different. We can all say as Pastor did, “But, Jesus…”
Will you share one thing you are grateful for in the comments?
footnote [a.] Proverbs 3:6 One of the ancient rabbis said that all the essence of the Torah (Law) depends on this verse.