I was thinking about the little things I take for granted and thought of the standard "air, water, air conditioning, sweet tea, vehicles, jobs, family, etc." I'm so grateful for these things, and more. My heart pitter-patters when I hear that the grandbabies are on their way up most of the time. It skipped two whole beats Monday night when Nolan said, "Nonnie" very clearly for the first time repeatedly. He said it once before, but Monday night that 17.5 month old voice, when asked to say Nonnie said, "Nah-Nah". That is as good as it gets for now and that works for me. He can say Paw Paw and several other insignificant words like Momma and Daddy, LOL, But Nonnie was music to my ears. (Cue the angels singing the Hallelujah Chorus!"
This week I've been thinking about family and the legacy of faith I was born into. My grandmother and grandfather on my Momma's side of the family raised their children to believe in God and declare His love. I never remember a time of "not" knowing about Jesus and that He loved me. Momma sang of His love to me and I can remember my grandfather and grandmother doing the same. My grandfather always used to try to get me mixed up on the hand motions to the song, "Deep and wide, deep and wide, there's a fountain flowing deep and wide..." He was a hoot. I miss him terribly sometimes.
My life was not all sunshine and moonbeams, and given that I grew up in the church and eventually came to into a saving relationship with my Savior, I have to wonder where I would be today if I had a different upbringing. I was a horrid, horrid adolescent and teen and my past makes me the poster child for a life of forgiveness and redemption. I rejoice that none of my past matters, not in the eyes of my family or of God. Each and every family member, save one, has graciously extended forgiveness to me as I have apologized for my actions growing up. They realize the obstacles I had to deal with and overcome and know the factors that led to my behavior. I confessed to God my sin and He told me it had been paid in full on the Cross.
These are all 'little' things together, but things I realize that I have taken for granted in some form or fashion. In recounting this, I can truly say with the Psalmist:
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” ~ Psalm 28:7 (ESV - emphasis Iris')
The Hebrew word for strength is `oz, which means:
1) might, strength
a) material or physical
b) personal or social or political
I see how God has manifested His might and strength in my life, helping me leave the past in the past and walk in the newness of a redeemed life and pray that I never take it for granted again. I pray that each day as I give thanks to Him for His strength that I live under the strength He has given me and remain strong in Him.
The Hebrew word for shield is magen. It means:
1) shield, buckler
This word comes from the word ganan, the Hebrew verb that means:
1) to defend, cover, surround
a) (Qal) to defend
b) (Hiphil) to defend
I look at how God has defended me, covering and surrounding me, and how He has protected me from so much warfare and am so thankful for that as well. My heart truly does trust in Him as I have seen Him at work so much in my life.
My heart truly rejoices and I give thanks to Him for all these things.
Father, thank You for being my Strength and my Shield. My heart trusts in You based on Who You are. You are so holy and faithful and true. I praise You for redeeming me by the precious blood of Your only begotten Son. I pray that others will see how far I have come and know that they, too, can step out on faith, knowing that You surround them with Your strength and shield. You have truly overcome so many "little" things in my life, Lord, and I give You the glory and honor for it. I could never have done it on my own. Thank You, Mighty God, and may Your Name be forever praised. In Jesus' Name...Amen.
What "little" things are you thankful for this week? God is to be praised for everything we take for granted. Let's reflect on what He has given us and praise His name together.
T - Thank the Lord with praise. "Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." ~ Psalm 106:1 (NIV)
H - Honor Him with songs of thanksgiving. "I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving." ~ Psalm 69:30 (NIV)
A - Acknowledge all He has done for you. "My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth." ~ Psalm 121:2 (NIV)
N - Notice all the works of His hands. "For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands." ~ Psalm 92:4 (NIV)
K - Kneel before Him in humility. "Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;" ~ Psalm 95:6 (NIV)
S - Speak of His glory to others. "One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts." ~ Psalm 145:4 (NIV)
Iris has chosen a great theme this week. The little things in life are really the biggest sometimes. I'm so glad she hosts Thankful Thursday each week. Be sure to visit her by clicking on the button below and link up, leaving a Thankful Thursday post of your own.