Jump Start # 2437
Psalms 77:11 “I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old.”
It was a parent’s worst nightmare. A phone call late at night. There had been a car accident. Their child was in the wreck. The phone call was from the police. There was an urgent plea to come immediately to the hospital. Their child had been injured. As the parents raced to the hospital, dozens of questions were racing through their minds. Prayers were being lifted Heavenward. As the ran into the hospital emergency room, they were told to wait. No information was given. They didn’t know if their child was even alive. They didn’t know the circumstances of the accident. They didn’t know how injured their child was. They waited and waited. They learned that a helicopter was used to bring their child to the hospital. Anxious, fearful, and trying to hold together a breaking heart, the parents were finally allowed to see their child. She was alive. There would be days spent in ICU and multiple tests, followed by many doctor visits after this.
I know this story. It’s my story. My wife and I were the parents and our daughter was the one injured in the car accident. This happened 13 years ago. I have thought about this and thanked the Lord dozens and dozens of times since then. My daughter is married and has two wonderful girls. She is extremely active in the congregation and makes me so proud.
The other night, for some reason, I thought about that terrible night. I can still see everything so clearly. Our long drive to the hospital. Sitting in that waiting room and no one telling us anything. Finally, being allowed to see her. I remember the tears. I can’t imagine what my world would be like if I had a precious grave in Kansas City that held her body. I know that I have been blessed. I have been with many parents and the news wasn’t good. There was a death.
And, all of this brings me to our verse today. There are events in our lives that I believe one will continually be thankful for over and over. Thanking the Lord once just isn’t enough. I believe for the rest of my life, I will continue to thank the Lord for sparing her life. It shouldn’t have to be a car wreck that does this.
Here are a few thoughts I have about continual thanksgiving:
First, we ought to be thankful, over and over for God’s grace and our salvation. I wonder if we treat our salvation as no big deal. It was a big deal. It was huge! It cost Jesus His life. Just about every public prayer includes asking God to forgive us, but how few times do we thank God for saving us. He didn’t have to. He doesn’t owe us salvation. Where would we be today without Jesus? That’s a scary thought.
Second, we ought to be thankful continually for our marriages and our families. Maybe if we were, we’d see it differently and even better than what we do. Maybe if we were more thankful, we’d appreciate them more and we’d step up and be more engaged and loving than what we are. We can complain a lot at home. We can fuss at the kids all the time. We want them to do what is right, but what would your world be without your children?
Third, we ought to be thankful for congregations that are really making a difference, following the Lord and have the heart and compassion of the Savior. When we find a congregation like that, it’s such a blessing. They are so helpful, encouraging and supportive. One doesn’t feel like the eyes of judgment are upon them as they enter the building. There are folks who love to go out of their way to be there for you. Such congregations are overseen by shepherds who are servants at heart. Worship services are uplifting, challenging and Biblical. So many places are not like this. Some lack unity, direction and vision. Some seem hopelessly stuck. Some would rather fight themselves than fight the devil. But there are wonderful congregations who are such a breath of fresh air. It’s easy to assume all congregations are like this, but they are not. Thankful. Thankful to have so much help spiritually. Thankful to be part of something special and good.
Fourth, thankful for the Lord. How many times has God forgiven you? A hundred? A thousand? He never grows weary of you. He never gives up on you. Look how patient God has been with you. Look how God has blessed you. Look at how the Lord has changed you and molded you. You have a better spirit because of God. You have a better outlook because of God. Your attitude, your thoughts, your words– they are all so much better because of the Lord. And, God is not finished with you yet. The best is yet to come. He has a home, His home, that He is planning on allowing you to come to. His home will be our home. It’s easy to thank the Lord for all the things surrounding Him, but how often are we simply thankful that He is who He is. Can you imagine if you or I were sitting on that throne in Heaven? What a mess we would make. The Lord is amazing! Have you thanked Him for loving you? Have you thanked Him for being there for you? Have you thanked Him for just being who He is?
Continual thanksgiving…this will keep the Lord right before our eyes.