“We’re Thankful For Pizza!” That was the headline for email that I recently received. It was an advertisement for Pizza Hut and they must know me well. I am thankful for pizza. As a matter of fact someone said that there will be pizza in heaven and I hope they’re right. We know that’s just wishful thinking on their part and we won’t be disappointed if we get there and find out there’s not (although my mind won’t allow me to think that way).
While I am thankful for pizza (and ice cream, and donuts, and coffee, and Diet Dr. Pepper), I am thankful for many other things that have far greater value and importance. Bear with me for a moment while I express my gratitude and hopefully cause your mind to contemplate what you’re thankful for. I will list merely a few of the many blessings:
My wife. She’s a lady. She is a terrific mother. A wonderful homemaker. A hard worker. She’s wise. She’s steady. She’s caring and compassionate. She’s tough. She’s a Christian. She’s a Fox.
My Boys. My biggest challenge. My biggest little friends. My joy. My world. My heart. Our miracles. Wow! If only you knew the story. If only they knew. I trust they will. I trust they will be thankful. I am.
My Parents. Giving. Loving. Caring. Just a few of the adjectives that come to mind. They’ve given until it hurts. Loved when it hurt. Cared when others didn’t. They have taught by their lives how to work hard. How to provide for their family and others in need. They know about sacrifice but never showed that it was a sacrifice. The love people. They love God.
My Inlaws. They’ve taught me more than they will ever know. They’ve taught me more by their lives than by their words. That’s not to say that they haven’t taught verbally, but they practice what they preach. Their words and deeds match. They’ve raised quite a family, built a strong church, and are quite the act to follow.
My siblings. All 9 of them. What memories. You better not say that I’m spoiled because you did it too. Thanks for loving me.
My wife’s siblings. You have taken me in as your family. We’ve cried together, but mostly laughed together. Oh what laughs. What good times. What memories. The holidays. The birthdays. The vacations. It only gets better as time rocks on.
Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, etc. They have been such an influence. Though some are gone on and a tear fills my eye to think about that, it’s a tear of thankfulness that my life was touched by them. Some are still among us however, and I’m grateful.
My pastor. He’s wisdom personified. He’s a rock. He’s kind, yet firm. He gentle, yet oh so tough. He’s a leader, but knows how to follow. He’s balanced. He’s fair. He’s a servant. He’s God’s man.
Men of God. I’ve been very blessed to have been impacted by some real men of God in this life and for that I am grateful. Some I’ve only heard preach and never made their acquaintance, but my life will be forever changed by men who had an ear tuned to heaven and preached to me the Word of God. Others, our paths not only crossed but merged and they are presently helping to shape my life. Their leadership and Godly influence is invaluable. I’m indebted to preaching and preachers for it is my salvation (1 Cor. 1:21).
My church family. You are local, yet worldwide. You are diverse. You are forgiving. You are accepting. You are God’s body. You helped make me what I am today. I give you and God the credit for the good and take the blame for the not so good. Thank you for not giving up. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for letting me serve. Thank you for giving so much to me. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your respect.
My old friends. Some I don’t talk to that often but they are there. Time, events, location, and just life may have separated us somewhat, but they are still a part of me. They have influenced me. In quiet times I reflect and my heart is happy that our paths crossed. If you happen to read this, you know who you are. I’d still do my best to show that real friends stick it out and are there for one another.
My newer friends. I’ve been blessed in this life by some real friends. I’ve read that if you have two good friends, you’re lucky. Well, if that’s the case I’m more than lucky; I’m very, very blessed. I’m thankful for my friends. They are a gift of God to me. I like them so much, I’m on a mission to see how many friends I can collect before I check out. Not superficial friendships. Not this modern “Facebook friend” deal. I want to be a real friend to folks because it’s friends that have changed my life for the good.
Well, I could go on (and on, and on ….), but suffice it to say today that I’m thankful. My heart is full. I am indeed a blessed man. As you can see, I’m thankful for more than pizza (although I want some right now). These things I’ve listed have far greater value. And do you know what I’m most thankful for? I’m thankful for God. No, I’m not being generic for you see every good and every perfect gift comes from Him (ref. James 1:17). He’s made my life so full. He gives meaning and purpose to life. He’s a friend like none other. He’s faithful. He’s long-suffering. He compassionate. He’s forgiving. He’s everything that’s good and everything that’s perfect.
What about you? What are you thankful for? In this Thanksgiving season, take a moment and thank God and maybe even thank others for the blessings they’ve been and are to you. Happy Thanksgiving!