I don't know how to sleep in. With kids, we have evolved a schedule where we are usually up around 6 a.m., even on weekends. Since the time change a few weeks ago, I've been waking up some time around 5:30 a.m. I was so tired last night that I figured maybe I'd "sleep in" until 6:30 today. Nope. I was awake at my usual time.
As I lay there, I started to think about Thanksgiving and the things that I am thankful for. I listed many of them in a post last week.
Of course, I am thankful to the things in my life that everyone else is: family; friends; the abundance of food; the creature comforts (a house, clothes, etc). But there is more to it than that. I am thankful for those things...but even more than those things, I am thankful for The One who has given them to me....God. I am thankful FOR God, and I am thankful TO God.
Words are inadequate as I consider all of the aspects of God and how they directly impact me and the feelings that it gives me. I'm going to give it a try.
First of all, He created me. He knew me before I was born. He had a plan for my life, even this cancer is part of that plan. He holds me in the palm of His hand and guides me through this life. When things get too scary, and they have at times during the past 5 months, I can turn to Him for comfort. He is my shelter, my strong tower, my ever present help in times of trouble. It is palpable. I felt it on the biopsy table. I felt it on the operating table.
He created the world and the things in it. Every beautiful place and thing that brings me joy. The beach, the mighty ocean. The majestic mountains with the smell of pine. The stars in the sky, the sun and the moon. The animals with all of their interdependent systems with other animals and the environment, God designed. It is awesome when you think about it. He gave us music. Who doesn't enjoy music?
I am thankful for His Word. The Bible is so much more than a book. It is kind of like an onion in that you can read it over and over and see new things in it each time as you dig a little deeper. It never gets old. It feeds my soul. It answers all of my questions, even when the answer is "My ways are higher than your ways, My thoughts are higher than your thoughts." It is a hand book for life. Got questions about parenting? Marriage? Friendship? The nature of God? It's all in the bible. I'm thankful that I can depend on the promises in the Word, especially in the midst of the cancer storm. It brings me comfort to know that He promises to work out all things for the good. Even me having cancer.
I am thankful for the Holy Spirit. He helps me to understand and relate to God in a deeper way. This may sound strange if you are not born again or if you do not have a relationship with the Lord. When you are saved you can ask the Lord for His Holy Spirit and He gives it to you. Literally. The Spirit indwells in you. For me, it has helped me to understand Scripture in a deeper way. Those times when I have "felt" God, it has been the Spirit. When I was lying there with a needle plunged deep into my armpit, it was the Holy Spirit that whispered to me, "I know the thoughts I have toward you. Thoughts of good and not for evil. Thoughts to give you a future and a hope." The Holy Spirit also intercedes for me when I don't know what to pray-and there have been plenty of those times in the past 5 months as well.
I am thankful for Jesus. Without Him, I wouldn't be able to have this relationship with God. Because I'm a sinner. Even on my best day, its not good enough for a Holy God. So He sent His son, Jesus, to take the punishment for my sin. That was what the cruxifiction was all about. When He died and rose again, it gave all of us the opportunity to have a relationship with God if we choose to. He is the bridge that brings the sinner (me) to God. I can stand before God now and God sees me pure and holy. Two things I am not, but I am because Jesus gives that to me. That is the ultimate thing to be thankful for! He paid my eternal debt.
What amazes me is that all of these things that I have talked about here, all of these various aspects are all part of the same God. He is so much bigger than we can even comprehend. I think sometimes people who refuse to believe certain things, (like God creating the world in 6 days), put God in a "human box." It just sounds so outrageous to them. If we were talking about man, even the smartest Nobel prize winning scientist, it is. But we are talking about God. It's mind blowing. He is mind blowing.
As I enjoy this Thanksgiving holiday, I am counting my blessings. I am thinking of all the good things that I am thankful for. But I am also thinking of the One who has given them to me and thanking HIM for those things. Every good and perfect gift comes from God.
If you want to consider this further, I highly recommend checking out this link to a special sermon from my pastor on giving thanks.
About this blog
I was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 11, 2010. As a result of my treatment, I have lymphedema in my left arm. I draw my strength from the Lord, as well as my family's Scots-Irish heritage. Our Graham's were a tough and scrappy bunch of fighters on the Scottish/English border. They came to America and continued to fight when necessary: in the American Revolution; the Civil War; and my brother is a Captain in the U.S. Army. My ancestors settled this country against all odds. My great-grandmothers on both sides of the family were pioneer women who settled the West. Along with that heritage, and the full armor of God, I am walking the walk and fighting the good fight.