Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17 (ESV)
It’s not always easy for me to say thanks. I don’t have a problem asking you for things but I struggle when it comes to thanking you when you graciously send those things to me. Maybe that’s because, deep down inside, I feel like I deserve the good that you have given me. Forgive me for my sense of entitlement.
Thank you for the cassette tape you made my sister listen to in the summer of 1981. Thank you for allowing the simple gospel message from the voice on that tape to work its way down the hall from where my sister was and into my heart, convicting me of sin and showing me my need for Jesus. Thank you for reminding me that just because huge miracles aren’t happening in front of me doesn’t mean that you are not working for me. You work through the big and the small. Thank you for doing a big work in my life through a tiny cassette tape.
Thank you for the gift of running. Several years ago I read an article about a dad who runs with his son. I prayed that I would be able to do that with my son. I thought about it all of those days when I ran while pushing him in his stroller. My plan was that we would finally start running together when my son became a teenager. You had something better. My son’s not even ten yet and over the past several days, we ran 9 miles together. Side by side.
Thank you for the conversations we have about heaven, the Bible, music technique during those runs. Thank you for the lessons he is learning about endurance and determination. Thank you for allowing me to be the one teaching him those lessons. Side by side.
Thank you for the joy I get when I see my youngest son dancing, riding his bike and doing anything he can to dive into life head first. Thank you for the way you use him to make me laugh. Thank you for the sound of his voice every morning at breakfast asking if he can do the prayer. I hope his passion for talking to you continues to grow.
Thank you, Father, for the phone call I got on Monday morning. A lot of pastors are afraid to answer their phone on Monday mornings because they know that it’s just someone calling to complain that their hand wasn’t shaken or that someone left a light on in some out of the way room.
This call wasn’t like that. It was just a guy calling to say that the sermon I preached on Sunday really helped him and that he wanted to take me out to lunch sometime. Thank you that most of the calls I get from church members go something like that. Thank you for allowing me to pastor a church that is so easy to love.
Father, I think that the biggest period of spiritual growth in my life has been over the past ten years. It’s no coincidence that that’s how long I’ve been married. Thank you for giving me a great wife who makes me want to be more like Jesus. I met her because of a hurricane. Who knew that such a beautiful gift could come from such a bad storm? You did.
Last weekend my wife was cooking a bunch of food for a special event at church. Something hit me. Nothing was different. At our house, every day seems like a special event. Thank you for a wife that cooks so good and smiles so much. Thank you for a kitchen table where we spend so much time together as a family. Eating. Talking. Laughing. Three things I take for granted. Three good and perfect gifts from you.
Father, you have blessed me in many ways. Help me to only worship you, the Giver of those blessings. Protect me from worshiping the blessings. And help me to be quick to tell you thanks, not only for the millions of blessings you send my way each day but for the greatest gift of all – your Son, Jesus Christ.
It’s in his name that I pray.
And it’s because of him that I have a reason to say thank you.