Thursday, November 25, 2010


Sitting in a small room surrounded by children, one of them asks, "Does anyone have a testimony." A small hand goes into the air. A child stands up and says:

"Praise God. I want to thank God for keeping us safe."

Another says,

"Praise the Lord. I want to thank God for our sponsors."

And another stands up and says,

"Praise God. I want to thank God for my life."

This is a typical scene during evening devotions at Camp El Har orphanage in Uganda. Children are so thankful for what they have - things we take for granted.

I thank God for my life.

In the US we designate one day a year for giving thanks. And every year people make a big deal about stretching it out longer than that. But how many of us actually do? I have to admit that I have difficulty with it.

Let's face it, in general, we're not a very thankful people. And it's not just us. It goes all the way back to the beginning of time. Adam and Eve had everything they needed in the Garden of Eden, but instead of giving thanks for all they had, they wanted more. In the desert, the Israelites had just walked through the Red Sea on dry land. God told them all they had to do was follow and obey Him and He would bring them into the Promised Land. He even lit the way for them and gave them food. After a while they started to feel like they were just walking in circles. And the manna God sent down every day, was getting a little old. They had everything they needed, but were they thankful?

Unfortunately, we're not often much different. God blesses every day of the year, not just the 4th Thursday of November. But in a few months (or more likely a few days - those Christmas ads have a tendancy to make us a bit greedy) the thanksgiving spirit will wear off and giving thanks will turn into asking for more.

I thank God for my life.

Every so often I hear those words in my mind, like a little reminder.

I thank God for my life.

Because even with the most difficult of pasts, we should all be able to say

I thank God for my life.

We all have so much to be thankful for. I know for me, I'm so thankful that God is continuing to improve my health. I'm thankful for the little things like being able to run the vacuum cleaner, not having to sleep during the day, and being able to start subbing again (my first full day was Friday!) But taking my cues from some sweet children in Uganda, I am most thankful for my life, because I know that God has written every page of it. The Bible says He has engraved us on the palm of His hands (Isaiah 49:16) and He has great plans for each and every one of us (Jeremiah 29:11).

And that gives me every reason to thank Him for my life.

When was the last time you thanked God for your life?

Happy Thanksgiving!
- Aly

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