Several years ago, I soaked in early morning rays of sun and thanked God for sparing a life so very dear to me. I concluded my prayer of thanksgiving with these words:
“I know, Lord, that one day You will summon her life, my life. Thank You for staying her life today. And most of all, thank You for Jesus.”
My spirit was overwhelmed. With immense relief for sure. But mostly with an aching gratitude that no matter the outcome of that morning, or even the next, there is Jesus. I knew with certainty in my heart that even had she parted with us that morning…well, Jesus.
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul,
'therefore I will hope in Him.'"
Today at the lunch table with my three young ones, I’m giving thanks again (with the help of my children):
“Thank You for grapes, thank You for garbage trucks, thank You for the snake we found at the park! Thank You for giving us so many dear family members and friends to love and be loved by. And most of all, thank You for Jesus.”
No one is in evident danger of dying today, but I offer to God these simple words of thanks with as much gratitude as that morning years ago.
Because there are mornings when I wake up and die a little inside at the thought of getting out of bed, but I know His mercies are new every morning, and I have the courage to get that pot of oatmeal going one more time.
Because the checklist sitting on my desk (or worse yet, floating around my brain) makes my chest tighten, oh so tight, but He reminds me that godliness with contentment is the greatest gain (1 Tim. 6:6), and only one thing is truly needed (Lk. 10:41-42), so I have the resolve to open up His Word while the kids are napping and leave the grocery list for another hour.
Because my heart can sink as I wonder how we’ll pay for that and realize she should really have another pair of good (expensive) shoes, but He specifies to me not to worry about it (Mt. 6:31-33). Trade my worry for devoted attention to His kingdom and righteousness—that’s something I can do. He’ll take care of what I can’t do.
Because I feel pressure that on top of my long checklist, I should really be reading every book there is on parenting—let’s just say my kids were not on their best behavior today! And I am encouraged that when the books don’t make it home from the library (or they do and sit on my coffee table pretending to be read), His Word is just what I need for training my little ones up in the Lord (2 Tim. 3:16). It would give Him joy and delight to share His wisdom with me any time I’m at a loss and in need of advice (Jas. 1:5).
Because I gave in to self-pity one more time and yelled so hatefully at the sight of his face out of bed again, and sometimes I wonder if I’ve disappointed God one too many times. And He tells me that the law that condemns me also reminds me that it’s Him who justifies and saves me, not my A+ show of self-control (Rom. 3:23-26).
Because on nights when the next week and month and ten years stretch out wearily before me, and I see death nibbling away at the future bit by bit, my heart need not fear. He makes known to me the path of life; in His presence there is fullness of joy; at His right hand are pleasures forevermore (Ps. 16:11).
“I know, Lord, that life in this world will always be filled toils, with tears. Thank You for giving me strength and comfort for today. For joy and laughter today. For guidance and instruction today. What I really mean to say is,
thank you for Jesus.”
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever."