Daily D – Psalm 107:1
Psalm 107:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. (NLT)
Our family has so much to thank God for today. We have known our losses. Dearest loved ones have taken their best next step from earth to heaven. Precious possessions have been lost. Meaningful relationships have fractured. Some hopes and a few dreams no longer matter.
Despite the losses and setbacks, the failures and foolishness, God has been better to us than we would have been to ourselves.
My bride and I returned yesterday from a week and a half in South Africa. Good friendships were deepened. New friendships were formed. Wonderful ministries found renewed focus. Many more lives are being changed for now and forever.
God’s craftsmanship and artistry were on full display there where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian. Mountains rise, seas roar, waves roll, and breath is released in glorious gasps.
So much kindness came our way from friends old and new. So much laughter warmed our hearts and shaped our precious memories. So many meals left us with more thanksgiving than we offered before we indulged. Who knew every meal could be a work of art in the hands of a master chef and his staff?
God’s wonders wandered around us as we encountered more elephants than we could count and more lions, leopards, and water buffalo than we ever imagined encountering. More birds, reptiles, and antelope of several species surrounded us than we could have hoped for. Monkeys played around us. One point-blank stared at me and wondered why I was sitting in his swing.
Casual conversations over biltong and sweets far away from fences and up close and personal with everything wild as the sun set strengthened our faith and steeled our resolve to build a better world.
We are 326 days into this year. My gratitude journal is bursting. My heart is full. My thanksgiving overflows.
Today, a significant chair will remain empty. A gathering rehearsed over generations will be unattended. Special dishes and treats exist only in memory.
Loss is painful. Gain is sure. Heaven is real.
A South African man of prominence and significance who is actively doing his part to build a better world said, “I admire American Thanksgiving. It is bigger than Christmas. It reminds us of all that is good and comes from God’s hand.”
There are so many details left out of these brief paragraphs. There are so many stories recalled but not told. There are so many fresh realizations that on this day in particular drive us to our knees with gratitude.
Thanksgiving reminds us how heaven begins with a feast. Dad’s dressing, fudge, peanut brittle, may well show up on the menu. Mom’s cakes, pies, and oatmeal cookies (without raisins) may well be there. Let me stop here before I forget someone’s special additions.
May you experience joy today as you turn your heart to God in Thanksgiving for memories made and memories to come.
With thanksgiving for you,
I will give thanks to God for he is good and his love endures forever.
Our Father, thank you. These simple words initiate memories and moments only you and I share. They remind me of so many good things shared with so many good people. They lead me to live with gratitude day by day and moment by moment. Thank you for so may good things that have come to us from your hand. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.