I love the words to the song written by Johnson Oatman entitled, “When Upon Life’s Billows.” The chorus sings, “Count your blessings, name them one by one; count your blessings see what God has done.” In keeping up with the theme of “Thankful November”, I have made an acrostic of the word “thankful” and some of the blessings that I am grateful for.
“T” I am thankful for the Truth that was shared with our family by the providence of God, and Him using doorknockers from Oklahoma. My Mother had a seeking heart and the Lord heard and answered her prayer. Those beautiful feet brought God’s Truth to us and changed our family for eternity. The Lord said, “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 I am not burdened by false doctrines and traditions of men any longer. I simply have the Word-God’s Truth to guide me and give me all I need to know. I have His Truth to be my Light on this path of life. Psalm 119:105
“H” I am thankful for the Hope that God has given me. I have hope that when my life on this earth is over, the beautiful realm of Heaven awaits me if I remain faithful unto death. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where theives do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 I understand that I can never “earn” a place in Heaven, but praise be to God that He has prepared this wonderful home for those who love Him and keep His commands. John 14:3
“A” I am thankful for the Ancient Ancestors we read of in His Word. God, in His wisdom, gave us the Scriptures to glean from. What strength we have at our fingertips to embolden us! Let’s learn from those who have literally “been there and done that.” If I want to be inspired by great faith, I will read of the woman in Mark 5:25-34. I see in Mary, a heart devoted to do God’s Will, whatever that may involve, in Luke 1:38. I read of a woman who stands by her man who preaches boldly, when I read of Priscilla in Acts 18:26. And I learn about hospitality from Peter’s mother-in-law in Matthew 8:15. So many others we can learn from-the list goes on and on. I’m thankful to have this reservoir of encouragement!
“N” I am thankful for Nature. God has created an amazing world all around us. I feel incredibly blessed to have been born in the Midwest, in Iowa. I was raised in “tall corn country” and loved looking out the car window and watching the corn rows go by. I now live in beautiful Minnesota with all its amazing lakes. I’m convinced, that as I have had the opportunity to travel (especially on campaign trips for Bear Valley) that every state has something beautiful to behold-whether its prairies, mountains, or waterfalls. What nature reminds me of is the power of God’s voice. Take a moment to read Genesis 1 and notice all the “God said” verses. Then take special note of the last verse in the chapter, “And God saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good.” Genesis 1:31 I can only imagine the beauty of Heaven considering that the earth is merely the Lord’s footstool! Isaiah 66:1
“K” I am thankful for the King of Kings. He is called so in 1 Timothy 6:15, along with “the blessed and only Sovereign,” and “Lord of Lords.” So very many titles that our God holds, and I would just like to mention a few here. Because He was there in the beginning, He is our Creator, John 1:1-3, and He will also be there until the end, as He is described as the “Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end,” in Revelation 21:6. He is our the good Shepherd who knows His own in John 10:11-17, and also the One who guides us in the paths of righteousness, as Psalm 23 puts so beautifully. He is the Great Physician, healing those who were suffering from various ailments. (See Luke 5:13, Matthew 9:28-30, and Mark 5:6-13, to name a few). We also see that His disciples came to know that He is “the Holy One of God” and the One who has “the words of eternal life.” John 6:68-69 He is the Lamb of God (John 1:36) who was sacrificed for us (Romans 5:8) I honestly cannot say which of these attributes I am most thankful for-because “King of Kings” encompasses them all-and many more!
“F” I am thankful for the Forgiveness that I am offered. I am not proud of the person that I was before I came to know the Savior-but I am forever grateful that my sins can be washed away and I can have His forgiveness. Acts 2:38 I once walked in darkness and was a slave to selfishness, but then my eyes were opened to the Light, John 8:12. At the time I was baptized, an amazing transfer occurred that Paul, through inspiration, puts so precisely, “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14 Because I am forgiven, I will strive to no longer dwell on the past, but remember, “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“U” Next I am thankful for Unity of the Lord’s Body. Anywhere you travel around this world, you can usually find a group of Believers to assemble with, who follow the Scriptures, and the Scriptures alone. I wish I could tell you how many times I have loved the sign outside an unfamiliar church building greeting me with the words, “The Churches of Christ greet you.” Romans 16:16 It was one of our Lords’ prayers before His crucifixion that “they would all be one.” John 17:21 We are not so naïve as to think that just because the sign says so, we are meeting with those who are like-minded,but that’s what separates the “seekers” from the “pew potatoes”! Call ahead of time and inquire so you can share fellowship with the true family of God.
“L” Finally, I am thankful for the Love of God. His is a love that seems, at times, above my comprehension. He loved us so much that He gave His only Son for us, while we were sinners, helpless, and enemies. Romans 5:6-10. That is equivalent to an innocent child taking the place of a convicted murderer on death row-the innocent in place of a wicked criminal. He loves us that much! Knowing that we have this love and can feast on His Word any time we want-what a privilege! 1 John 4:8 reminds us, “God is love.” He is the very definition of the word, and I am thankful He has shown this love to me.
“Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Psalm 106:1
Robin Martin and her husband Randy are members at the South Twin Cities Church of Christ in Rosemount, MN, where Randy ministers as an elder. They just celebrated their 30 year wedding anniversary! They have seven children together, four of whom have married Christian spouses, giving them eight grandchildren! Robin enjoys running her in-home licensed daycare, teaching the baby and toddler classes for the church, leading ladies’ devotionals, and has had the privilege of speaking at Ladies Days in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa. She loves to sew, quilt, cook, host events, and spend time with her family and friends!