It's 2:40 AM in the morning on Thanksgiving, and I can't sleep. So I'm sipping a cup of South African rooibos tea and thought I'd write about all the things I'm thankful for. This post was partly inspired by some significant events over the last few months that have been both transforming and a cause for plenty of reflection, and a sermon that I listened to a few hours ago, titled "Common Blessings and Familiar Miracles", delivered 5 years ago at my home church - Willingdon.
Once again, it seems the best way I can express my thoughts is with a poem that I've titled "Thanksgiving for Everything." I believe it expresses everything I want to say.
Thanksgiving for Everything
(by Kevin Thomas)
O Lord God, when my life I see,
How can you love one like me?
I cannot say 'Thank You' enough that I still live,
That my heart keeps beat, my lungs breathe still
Thank You that I can taste, touch and smell,
With ears to hear, eyes to see and my mind to think as well.
Father, in all truly I have had no lack,
Food to eat, a house to live and clothes upon my back.
The wealth of good health has been enough indeed,
It may not have been all I wanted, but it is all I need.
Thank You for my parents through whom You gave me life;
Their love and care over all these years, their encouraging smile.
For all the times I've hurt them, brought their spirits low,
Oh Father, I'm so sorry, I wish it hadn't been so!
Thank You for all the sacrifices they made, both in times of plenty and little to spare;
I wouldn't be where I am today without their faith and prayers.
Thank You for my little sister who showed up when I was ten
And all the cards and presents she's made, and the love she's shown since then!
Thank You, God for all my schooling;
You got me through it all, though assignments had me swooning!
I'm sorry for forgetting that it was a privilege, not a right;
Forgive me for those moments when I've taken it for granted,
Been slack and lazy, and not tried with all my might.
It's only You I can thank for the things I've done right
The good marks and grades, and honours as well.
From kindergarten to grad school, You were my Best Teacher,
There was none who knew me as well, with whom I was free-er.
Thank You for being patient with me, with all the mistakes I've made,
For not laughing when I've been slow, and asked questions most silly.
Thank you Papa, for my friends
The brothers and sisters who've been so good to me
There are so many who have been there in times good and bad,
Who have laughed when I've been happy, cried when I've been sad.
I wish I could do more, be a better friend, love and care as they have me,
With kindness and graciousness for a broken heart to mend.
So much and more You alone have given me,
Withheld nothing of all that You were, are or will ever be.
And yet O Master, how have I repaid,
Your steadfast love and faithfulness, every provision You have made?
With my sinning heart I have rebelled, pushed You away,
Disobeyed Your Word and Law, caused You much dismay.
I have been the prodigal, demanded my inheritance, wished You dead,
Took all that You gave me me and to the land of sin I fled.
Cutting were my words, like knives my speech;
Pride, anger and bitterness in every thought, word and deed.
In foolishness and haste I squandered all You gave,
Came to my senses only poverty and with none to save.
Heavenly Father, today it is this for which I must give most thanks,
That you did not write off this rebel son,
Though he wasted every blessing in the bank.
All those many years ago, while I had not a thought of You,
You sent Your Only Son to pay the price and bring me home.
Though my sin nailed Him to His Cross, thrust the spear in His side,
With love He took it all, and stretched out His arms
As He looked in my eyes, forgave my sins and died.
There is no greater blessing for me this Thanksgiving than this,
That the Father waited to welcome me home with coat, shoe and ring,
With a feast to celebrate and a song to sing.
Though I ran away from Him, was lost and died in my sin,
Through Christ and His Cross I was found and live again!
Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!
- The Wisdom Seeker.