Paul Derengowski, ThM
It’s Thanksgiving Day 2017. While most Americans either already have had their Thanksgiving Day fill of food and football, my wife and I have not, but will shortly.
Until then, I thought I would list ten things, not necessarily in order of importance, for which I am thankful.
- Ever since 1981, when I became a Christian, there is nothing I could thank God more than when He called me into His Kingdom. Although some tend to get a little carried away with themselves, when it comes to their Christianity, I prefer to be a bit more even-keeled about it. Nevertheless, thanks be to God for His grace, His mercy, and His willingness to take a wretch like me and make me one of His own.
- Commensurate with the previous point, I am thankful that with God’s calling came the equipping and preparation to minister. Although it has been a struggle, at times, to be recognized, I just figure that it is all in God’s plan and timing, and that if I was supposed to be like some who garner all the attention, I would be. Until then, if ever, I am thankful and content that God has brought me from afar and placed me right where He wants me.
- My wife is the greatest thing, barring my salvation, that has ever happened to me. Every day, I am thankful she is mine and I am hers. This year we celebrated 30 years of marriage and Lord willing we will be allowed to share, at least, another 30 years together.
- As my wife and I grow older, I am thankful that both my wife’s and my health are good. Earlier this year things were looking a bit precarious, with me having to have several lymph nodes in my neck removed, which was initially speculated could have been Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. But, everything turned out alright and we just returned from a long walk together on a beautiful autumn day.
- Many, many people will be traveling today. Some are driving, while others are making long hauls in the air, after waiting in long lines at the airport. While it is always nice to visit friends and family during the “holidays,” I am thankful that this year we get to take a reprieve from all of that. We will enjoy each other’s company, here in our home, where it is quiet, comfortable, and cozy.
- Consistent with the quietness, comfortableness, and coziness will be the meal we will enjoy. Thank you, Lord, for providing the food on our table. While many will completely forget or ignore just where the blessing of being able to eat comes from, let me simply reiterate, “Thank you, Lord.” You are our source and provision for not only the food, but for everything we enjoy on this earth, which includes the earth.
- It has been said that if you can find one or two persons you can go through life with and call them your friends, you have accomplished something. Thankfully, I have those one or two (or maybe three or four) people who mean very much to me and whom I can call a friend. They understand my foibles, probably because they understand their own. So, whether in times of good or bad, they stand by me and I beside them.
- The United States is a great place to live. In my opinion, there is nothing comparable to it in all the world. Therefore, I am thankful that the Almighty chose to allow me to live in America, where even though there is a wide range of conflicting ideas and opinions about everything, at least, for the moment, we have the freedom to express them.
- I am thankful for all of those whom my wife and I are no longer able to enjoy spending this day with. They have gone on to glory and are perhaps sitting at the Lord’s table feasting on things much better. We thank them for instilling in us morals, values, and principles that made them decent, respectable, loving human beings while alive, and we look forward, one day, to enjoying their presence again. Thank you, Lord, for that hope.
- Finally, I am thankful that Donald Trump is the President of the United States. He is not everything and a bag of chips as a leader, but only thinking of the alternative sends a shiver up my spine. May the Lord keep and bless him throughout the tenure of his Presidency. It certainly has to be one of the toughest jobs any man or woman could tackle. And if it be the Lord’s will that he serve back-to-back terms, then so be it.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!