I spent the majority of last week in mental anguish over the massive amounts of work that loomed before me as I prepare to leave for vacation in Hawaii for Thanksgiving.
Saturday night I got to spend time with a dear friend who made me realize how rediculous that was. She didn’t tell me I was rediculous, but through talking to her I realized how obscenely blessed I am. Really. I complain about the littlest things, which are actually blessings, but I realized I make a very big deal of very little things because I don’t have big things to make a big deal out of. I want to stop doing that. I want to be thankful instead. This is a little premature since Thanksgiving isn’t until next week, but it’s on my heart this morning so I’ll write it anyways.
I am thankful today for a conversation I had with an older lady from our Bible Study last week. She invited me over to think and talk through possibilities for school and work and my future. I left convicted over my sin and with a renewed passion for humble and selfless living. I want to die to my will, my intellect, and my emotions. May God be gracious to do it.
I’m thankful for the education the Lord is giving me. I went to lunch with an unbelieving friend on Friday who asked what my plans were for the weekend. I told him about the papers I was writing, which lead into a discussion about how biblical counseling approaches problems verses how secular psychology does. I was able to share the gospel with him through that conversation and tell him that as much as I’m concerned about a counselee’s $80,000 of debt, I’m even more concerned with how to solve the pattern of living that lead to that and the desires of their heart that fueled their actions, but primarily concerned about their eternity. Anything that happens during this life is relatively short and momentary but eternity is forever. So I care about their relationship with their Creator and where they will spend their eternity, not just getting them out of debt.
I’m thankful for another friend I spoke with Saturday night about how to counsel women who have been sexually abused. I was able to explain what looking to Christ looks like in many different ways in such a situation. Through that conversation my heart was turned to worship of Christ, and it was easy to sing wholeheartedly and gratefully to Him on Sunday morning in church.
I am thankful for the paper I just finished on the problem of evil. After researching it and writing about it, I had to finish the paper with a counseling application which was so personal and hit so close to home I had to stop writing at one point because I knew the tears would come and wouldn’t stop. I thank the Lord for the opportunity to wrestle through these issues as I pursue my education.
I’m thankful for the paper I just finished researching and will write tonight on 1 Corinthians 7:25-35. I have been reminded of God’s good purposes in singleness and the need for every believer to evaluate not just what is right and wrong, but what is best and how to live so that we are most free to serve the Lord with all we’ve got.
I’m thankful for sanctification. I spent time with a friend last night who reminded me of memories from what seems like a lifetime ago. I thank the Lord for sweet friendships, and people I enjoy, and people I who I love enough that they are able to hurt me deeply, and for people who have pursued me, taught me what it is to serve, and been patient with me, and walked with me even when I sinned against them, and helped me learn to communicate.
I’m continually thankful for my family. As I sang in church yesterday I thought about the upcoming week in Hawaii and realized that I would love spending time with my family even if we spent the week in the hospital next week. I would thank Christ for them whether He wills that we spend next week on the beach or in intensive care. Life is fragile and short and the Lord gives and He takes away. You never know what tomorrow will bring. If the Lord wills I will be in Hawaii, but who knows what the week may bring.
I’m thankful for God’s seemingly insignificant mercies. Last night I sat in the library dreading having to come to work today and make a hundred phone calls. My mind is absolute mush after the writing and researching of the weekend. I certainly didn’t feel like I had a chance to rest, which would be okay if I didn’t have to come to work with my A game every day. When I woke up this morning I realized that today is a bank holiday and I have a little break from the calling and talking. And the woman I work closely with here encouraged me to take Wednesday off to finish up my papers. I’m so glad I get to work with her. God certainly knows when we need a little rest.
All that to say, I am thankful today and I don’t apologize for the fact that I have a lot to be thankful for.