November is the month for giving thanks. Dating back several centuries Americans have had the tradition of setting apart a day to thank God for His many gifts.
I am grateful to God for all the blessings He has given me. I thank God for the good health He has given me. During college I worked for two years at a large hospital in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. As one of the pharmacy technicians, I made rounds to all the nurses’ stations, making deliveries and picking up orders. I saw many things in those years which deepened my appreciation for good health. Along with health I am thankful for daily food to sustain me, a loving family around me, a grace-filled church home, and treasured friends over the years.
All of these come to me from the hand of God. Psalm 145:16 states this quite plainly. “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”
Other good gifts come to me as well from God. Rich gifts.
On October 19 and 20 the elders of our church gathered together at Camp Shalom for a retreat. There, despite the forecast of rain for the whole of Friday, God provided dry conditions for our hike and dry enough conditions for our campfire! I’ll have to admit, however, that Neil Gray and Pastor John got a bit wet while grilling our burgers!
After settling in at camp, our first activity was Bible study. We spent over an hour studying Romans 5:1-11 together. I was struck by the list of God’s gifts to His children we found there:
- “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1)
- “through whom [Jesus Christ] we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand” (2)
- “God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us” (5)
- “we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (11)
- “through whom [Jesus Christ] we have now received reconciliation” (11)
That’s quite a list of gifts! Peace, grace, love, God’s own Holy Spirit, joy, reconciliation. They are rich gifts that come to us from God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am grateful for these wonderful gifts. They are so real, so rich, and so strong that even suffering cannot cancel them out: “not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings”! (3) I hope I will rise to that level of spiritual maturity. I think living more and more in these rich gifts from God make that possible.
I am grateful for God’s rich gifts.