We didn't know that weekend would be the last one that our family was all together. In God's kindness we got family pictures taken on Friday. Dad had his seizure and was hospitalized on Saturday. Unfortunately that was the last time Greg and my nieces saw dad/grandpa...in a hospital, hooked up, with no doctor having seen him for several days. (I just realized that.)
This will sound strange to some, but looking back I wouldn't want anything done differently. Oh, yes, I miss my dad immensely, but to know that he is no longer in pain and has started his eternity praising God is a far better life than suffering here on this earth. I believe my family came out stronger and much closer to God because of this trial. I praise Him for that.
I've done a lot of reflecting this weekend. I really miss spending the holidays with my family. Over the last several years I've missed out a lot on that, however, my family literally spans the globe now. I don't even know how many families I've become a part of because of their desire to spread Christ's love to me. I'm humbled that God would want to bless me, His child, with not only His love, but the love of others.
I have so much to be thankful for. Unfortunately I am not always searching that out in my day to day life. I'm thankful for the body of Christ and that we are one in Him. I'm thankful for forgiveness of sins. I'm thankful that my sins were literally put on Christ when He suffered for me on the cross. I'm thankful that my God is not like any other god in this world, in that He is seeking after me and truly desires His best for me. I'm thankful that Christ wasn't left on the cross, but is alive, seated at the right hand of the throne of God. I'm thankful that in spite of all my insecurities, my identity is not found in myself, but in the fact that I am a child of God. He alone is my identity and I can stand firm in that.
I'm thankful for the little things....socks, a roof over my head, heat (that's a big one as we head back in to winter), the fact that I only have 2 pairs of jeans and they haven't worn out yet because I wear them all week long, affordable food for my diet, Christmas music, books on my bookshelf, sunshine, taking food to a neighbor who stood there speechless that someone cared about him that much, scarves for short haired people, and so on.
I'm sure many of you have, but take time to reflect on all that you have to be thankful for. But don't just do it once every year, it should be a daily thing. For without thankfulness, I believe that what Christ has done on the cross will not be that big a deal to those who rejoice in it.