Six Things I’m Thankful About (Part 1)

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. (Psalm 107:1-3 ESV). Today I am beginning a little journey to take us to Thanksgiving next week. There are so many things that I am thankful for that I can hardly imagine how long it might take to single one of those out each day and write a bit about it. So, I am choosing just six. Now, first, I m must encourage you not to place any emphasis on why I am choosing “six.” There is no underlying principle or subtle symbolism taking place here. I suppose the greatest reason for choosing “six” is that there are six days until Thanksgiving and that seems to fit the schedule best. I would also encourage you to join me on this journey taking six things you are thankful for and journaling about each of them one per day until Thanksgiving. I’d love to see what you write about. Leave a comment on this site with the one word and maybe a sentence or two. That would be very encouraging to all of us. Oh, one other thing: there is no right or wrong answer and there is no particular order to them. With that brief preamble, let’s start. Day One: I’m thankful for redemption. In our reading today, the psalmist says, Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south (v. 3). This was no small accomplishment; both as far as my personal redemption and the whole process for all men are concerned. Look at what he says. These people come from all over: gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. For me that means that this gift of eternal life is not reserved for the privileged few or sociologically elite. Redemption came to this second generation immigrant’s grandchild with no notice of who my family was or wasn’t. God saw me and loved me and “redeemed me from trouble.” I know we have often heard that we are not redeemed “from” something, but “to” something. There is truth in that, but I can see the “from” so much more clearly that the “to.” Along with lots of others I was moving through life. I was wounded and weary; burdened and tired; and guilty and shamed. So were all those walking with me; we were all on the same path. But in an instant, God broke into my pain said, “I choose you!” I’m thankful. When we found our dog at the rescue, he wasn’t the cutest nor the best behaved. He was a reject. Others didn’t want him. Maybe it was his short stature. Perhaps it was his odd underbite. Maybe it was his persistent personality. Whatever it was, he was excluded and soon to be pushed aside forever. We chose him, because we wanted to. We’ve had Teddy (our rescue Terrier) for nearly four years now. There have been challenges of course. He is still all Terrier and a very busy little dog. Why, the one time he challenged a skunk and lost should have been enough to take pause at our decision; however, we haven’t. He is and will forever...

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