The hymn that includes the lyrics, “Give thanks with a grateful heart” is rolling around in my head this year. Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States (for those of you overseas) and as a nation we pause from the business of everyday life to be thankful.
In years gone by our nation was not shy about giving thanks to God for these United States and all the blessings we enjoy here. With the onslaught of the foolishness that seems to have now overtaken us many are simply thankful for a paid holiday, a wonderful turkey dinner, and even the gathering of family and friends.
I am especially thankful this year. Today marks the first time in several years that all my children will be home for Thanksgiving. This is an incredible blessing for me and one I have been cherishing in my heart in the days building up to this celebration.
Today is also the first Thanksgiving dinner I am preparing in my new home, which is also very exciting and a wonderful blessing.
The last several years Thanksgiving has been a sad and even somber occasion for me, marked by sickness and loss of people I love very much. I am happy to know that this year my wonderful Mom is resting in the arms of Jesus and that there are no illnesses afoot.
God has richly blessed us with a wonderful church and church leadership, a budding counseling center and counseling ministry, and many new fantastic “family” members among the body of Christ here. I have found friends here at last and am enjoying being involved in the lives of others.
My family is very blessed in that everyone has a job which is something I know many cannot claim right now. We are fed and warm and safe. The Lord is providing for our daily needs and even some of our wants. All of these things are blessings I do not deserve in the least!
The thing I am the most thankful for today is what Jesus Christ did for me. Were it not for Jesus and His gift of salvation I would have nothing worth having. As I reflect back on who and what I once was I am overwhelmed by the goodness and graciousness of God revealed in my life. I once truly was lost as darkest night living in the sin that pleased me. I answered to no one and was a rebel at every level of my heart and soul.
When Jesus bought me He got a hopeless, heinous sinner. I brought nothing to His table and He certainly did not need me. I was broken, busted, smashed, and useless. Most of all, I was clueless. I didn’t know Him or understand that I needed Him. I honestly didn’t want to need Him.
When His love touched my heart I began a life-long journey back to Someone I didn’t know I had left behind. The more I have grown in my understanding of Him the richer and fuller my life has become. He truly has changed me…
The wonderful song I have printed below for you has been running through my mind constantly.Any italics and bold print you see are my emphasis’ because the lyrics speak to me so clearly, and I love them.
Be thankful- in spite of all you may not have this day, you have all you truly need in Christ.
ALL I HAVE IS CHRIST
I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still
But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life
Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You
© 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)