Sunday, November 14, 2010

This is Life

     This is life.
     It is amazing. It is unpredictable. It is wonderful. It is confusing. It changes so rapidly in some instances that we barely have time to breathe and so slowly at others that time seems to stop. But that's life, and we deal with it and we learn from our experiences and we grow stronger and we move on.
    This is November.
    Week one-best friend learns she has breast cancer.
    Week Two- sister learns she is having extensive back surgery, father begins series of epidural steroidal injections for spinal stenosis, best friend has mastectomy.
    Week Three- father has back surgery on Friday, sister's back surgery scheduled for Tuesday.
    Week Four- Thanksgiving.
    And yes, in the midst of all these medical crises and surgeries, watching family and friends endure illness and pain, I am thankful. Thankful for a God that never changes in character, never leaves our side, never stops loving us. Thankful for a God that sustains us and gives us hope. Thankful that God has provided us with talents and gifts to manage life's stressful situations. Thankful for patience when I am hurried, strength when I am tired, understanding when I am confused, serenity when I am anxious.

      Thankful for a country that currently still provides the best medical care in the world. Thankful for surgeons and nurses and doctors and therapists that have been well-trained in excellent medical schools. Thankful for hospitals that are fully staffed and have the most modern medical equipment and medicines available. Thankful for brilliant minds and trained hands and serving souls and compassionate hearts.
     Thankful for church families and ministers that pray for us and lift us up.  Thankful for family and friends that surround us and support us when we need them most.    
   Thankful that as a nation we have recognized the importance of giving thanks to God. Thankful that we have set aside a specific day for the soul purpose of  thanking Him for the blessings and abundance He has poured out upon our country. This is not merely a day for football and turkey, for overeating and long naps on the couch, for festive parades and holiday shopping.  It is a day of Thanksgiving to a God that has been merciful, loving, forgiving, generous, protective, abundant, patient, kind, understanding, slow to anger, omnipotent. It is a day to gather with family and friends, to hold hands and bow heads and pray, to share a meal around a common table, and to thank our God.
    So yes, even in times of great stress, of impatience, of concern, of anxiety--even in these times, I am thankful.
    This is life--our God-given life, our wonderful, uncertain, confusing, unpredictable life. Our world is spinning rapidly and changing quickly, events are happening that are out of our control, but one thing remains certain, one thing is constant, one thing we can cling to and put our hopes in, one thing we can trust in and believe in and be assured of... and that is God. Our loving, merciful, ever-present, unchanging God. Our creator and sustainer. Our Father, God.
     This Thanksgiving, I will give thanks. I will most certainly give thanks.
     This Is Life, and I am thankful.

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