So I am short quite a few days for my thankful list but I think it's fair to say that I can add these seven people, hopefully soon to be eight people, to my list of what I am MOST grateful for!!!
As I thought about all the things I am grateful for over the last few weeks I noticed all of them were positive things that made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. And as I was pondering my list I was thinking that maybe the difficult things should be on there too. God says in His Word that we are to be thankful and grateful for ALL things. Because truthfully it was in those times of suffering that my patience grew, when I was humbled because of my own sin the Lord grew in me a compassion for others and when my disappointment was at its greatest that I felt Jesus comfort and draw close to me. I can honestly say that I am grateful for these things because Jesus is using the not so good things to refine me and make me more like Him. While I still have a very long way to go I'm thankful that He will never leave me and that He loves me so much to allow these things to happen so that I may grow. I'm not saying that it will be easy to make such a list but it is something that I will have to choose daily for the rest of my life to praise Him in the midst of trials. So if I am going to truly be thankful I have to be thankful for it all.
"Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!"