I am grateful today.
I am grateful as I pay attention to what I can see God doing around me. I am grateful as I see what God is doing in the midst of people I love and value — people who are in the middle of my life. I am grateful not because everything is wonderful in my life. I am grateful because I often get a front row seat as I witness person after person being used by God to encourage another.
Our younger daughter returned from Scotland on Thursday of last week. She told stories of the graciousness and kindness of the good family she was with. I am very grateful to them.
Our older daughter and her husband are a part of such a good church in Franklin, Tennessee. She regularly tells stories of men and women who encourage them. I am grateful.
My cousin Lynette is caring for my second cousin in Memphis as she is under hospice care. I am grateful to Lynette for her care and ministry.
Last weekend, wonderful people from our church helped put together a special gathering for our church that took place late Sunday afternoon in our Community Center. John, Joann, Donnis, Tom, Billy, Brian, Lane, Randal, Kevin and Michelle, Jack, Joy, Bage, a host of volunteers from our life group, and thirty-three "table coordinators" who helped with each table where people were sitting were among those who served in special ways. I am grateful for these people.
In my e-mail inbox are seven encouraging e-mails expressing gratitude and joy regarding that same event. (We called this "Family at the Table.") I am grateful to these people for expressing their own gratitude.
A great guy wrote me such a meaningful note on Sunday afternoon regarding the message that morning. I am so grateful for his encouragement.
On Sunday, I watched as one of the elders in our church talked with several people in our church. I could tell, even at a distance, that he was encouraging people. He was smiling and laughing and seemed full of joy. Earlier in the day, he prayed with me and another one of our ministers about the day’s events. I am grateful for this man (and so many other encouragers like him).
Today, I will meet with nine wonderful church leaders representing a number of congregations for a time of prayer, discussion, and encouragement. I am grateful for these friends and encouragers.
I like this wonderful line, spoken by David, in I Chronicles 16:34: "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."
As I begin this new day, I want to remember to be grateful to God for his good gifts. I pray that I might pay attention to the sweet, wonderful moments that God provides each day. I pray that I will not get wrapped up in anything unwholesome, anything discouraging, or anything that in some way might cause me to miss what God is doing all around me.
Now I suspect that, like me, you have much to be grateful for as well. So, what are you grateful for today?