Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving thoughts

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. – Psalm 100:5 (NIV)

God has given me many gifts. In this season of Thanksgiving, I’m going to dwell on three of them: the past, the present, and the future.

I’m thankful for my past, especially that I grew up in a home where I witnessed my mother talking to God all day long. “Don’t You let it rain,” she’d say when she hung the laundry on the line. I’m sure that’s why I still live with an awareness of God’s abiding presence moment by moment.

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalm 139:7–10 NIV).

Which brings me to the second gift for which I’m thankful: the present. For the freezer and panty shelves stocked with vegetables harvested from our garden. For the firewood stacked in the barn. For health and energy. For Friday night date nights with my husband. For our five beautiful, fun grandchildren. For my husband’s job. For opportunities to work out of my home doing what I love best. For the sunsets and sunrises and birds and trees and butterflies and all God created for our enjoyment and use. God’s abundant provision blows me away.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God . . . And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches . . .” (Philippians 4:6, 19 NIV).

Glory . . . that brings me to the third thing for which I’m thankful: the future.

There’s quite a bit of interest these days in end times. Some believe 2012 will be the last year for planet Earth. I’m not too worried about it. I don’t put a whole lot of stock in man’s predictions. My Bible tells me only God knows when this will be. So why get all stressed about it?

Besides, whether the world ends in 2012, before then or after, I know where I’ll spend eternity: Heaven. (1 John 5:11-12). In the meantime, I know that God has a plan and purpose for me (Psalm 138:8). Watching God’s awesome plan for my life as it unfolds day by day is more exciting than the latest special effects movie.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).

“The one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus to the life above” (Philippians 3:13–14 TEV).

Past, present, future—my times are in His hand (Psalm 31:15).

Thank you, Lord, for Your abiding presence, abundant provision and awesome plan. Amen.

Special-Tea: Psalm 100, Joel 2:23–24, Habakkuk 3:17–18.

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