Thankful for my children.
Thankful for my friends.
Thankful for my health.
Thankful for my jobs.
Thankful for The Torch.
Thankful for the sunshine.
Thankful for food in the fridge and on the table.
Thankful for a comfortable apartment.
Thankful for a warm bed.
Thankful for hope.
Thankful for this moment of peace.
Thankful for a great fundraiser this past week.
Thankful for such a supportive board of directors.
Thankful for early morning time with God.
Thankful for my clothes.
Thankful for my upcoming trip to California.
Did you ever try to count your blessings? I could go on and on listing the many things I am so thankful for. When I woke up this morning I was just so full of gratitude to be incredibly blessed. I didn’t ask God for one thing when I prayed today. I just thanked Him and thanked Him. When I think about everything God has done for me, I cannot imagine ever being able to repay Him.
Did you know He spoke audibly to me once? Crazy, huh?
My daughter, Misty, was eighteen months old. My son Markie was two months old. It was a Sunday morning and I was just finishing up getting them ready for church. Markie needed his liquid vitamins, so I propped him in his baby seat on the table and started trying to wrestle those down his throat. Their dad, Mark went outside to start his very loud car. I forget what model it was, but it was loud. It was the kind of car the men at church would stand around afterwards with the hood up watching the engine as it roared.
While I was giving Markie his vitamins, Misty came up behind me and asked if she could go get in the car with her dad. I said, “Sure”, and out the door she went. I was focused on Markie and the vitamins, when all of a sudden a deep voice behind me and up high, near the ceiling, spoke loudly. As I turned to see who was there, the words and urgency in the voice sank in: “Mark doesn’t know Misty is out there!” As I repeated the words in my head, my heart began to race. I turned and grabbed Markie from his baby seat and flew out the front door.
To my horror, Misty was standing behind the car, hanging on to the bumper and screaming in terror as her dad raced the engine. Without stopping to think, I raced across the yard to the driveway, with Markie hanging over one arm. As I grabbed Misty, Mark began to back the car up and I leaped like I had never done before. We cleared the rest of the driveway and fell into the grass of the neighbor’s front lawn just as Mark pulled the car into the street! I began to cry tears of gratitude and fear, and a long time passed before I stopped shaking.
It wasn’t until much later, when I replayed the entire scene in my head, that I realized the voice I had heard was the voice of God.
That event happened nearly thirty years ago and it truly was the beginning of a long journey of experiencing God’s care directly in my life and feeling overwhelming gratitude toward Him. I also acknowledge there is nothing I can do to repay Him for what He does for me. What is the price for Misty’s life? For my health? For the joy I feel when I am in the sun? For hope and peace and love? How do I pay for the life He gave on the cross and the forgiveness and mercy He has shown to me? I can’t. I can’t because I am a flawed human being who often takes such things for granted. But I can offer Him praise and I can worship Him with my gratitude. i can love other people and tell them why there is so much hope in my life. It’s not much, but it’s what I have.