Thursday, June 7, 2007

Much to Be Thankful For

I've been stressed this week. I've had a lot to do. I've been teaching a lot. I have some volunteer position openings that I wasn't expecting. There have been behavior issues to deal with my kids. Trying to juggle two ministries, itinerant preaching & speaking, volunteering in my church, my wife's new work schedule, being a husband and dad has been hard. It is easy to be wrapped up in all of that: the stresses in life, the to do list, the schedule, the children's fighting, the constant juggling act and lose my "attitude of gratitude." I can go through my day and miss all the things that I have to be thankful for.

It is also easy to take what God has done for us for granted. It is easy to get into a pattern of approaching my relationship with God in the form of a check list as well. Read my Bible... check. Prayed... check. Went to church... check. Serve... check. My walk with Christ can become a duty and routine instead of being a joy and delight - an act of worship.

When you look at Scripture, in particular Paul's letters, you'll see a pattern. The first half of those letters is all about who God is, what He has done for us, and who we are in Christ if we have a relationship with Jesus. The second half is what we should do because of that reality. We have much to be thankful for! Even if we have a horrible day, even in the midst of stress, tragedy and turmoil. King David also knew that we have much to be thankful for, and he writes:
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's, (Psalm 103:1-5, ESV).

Take time to give thanks. Look for the little things that you can be thankful for. Be thankful for what Jesus has done for you, in you and through you.

I am thankful for:
  • My salvation, the fact that my sins have been forgiven and I am a child of God.
  • My wife who has sacrifically given her time to home educate our kids.
  • My children who have tender hearts toward God and who love Jesus.
  • My parents and siblings who take time to support my kids in their activities and support my work with SOY.
  • My ABF at Valley Church for their friendship, community, love and support.
  • For SOY's prayer partners who lift up the prayer needs of our kids, volunteers and staff.
  • For the great volunteers that I have the priveledge to work with.
  • Awesome co-workers and co-laborers at SOY who are dedicated to reaching out to kids who need hope.
  • Physical health

I'm just getting warmed up. How about you? I want to end this post with a video of the song "O Praise Him" by the David Crowder Band. I hope you enjoy and take time to praise Him today and be thankful for all that He has done.


Lighthouse said...

This is very true, and helped motivate me to praise Him more! Love the song and video also! Thank You for serving Christ in even the small things in season and out...May God continue to bless you and your family and use you all to reach the lost wherever you are!

Shane Vander Hart said...

Thank you for your kind remarks, and welcome to the blog! I appreciate the feedback.