A Lot To Be Thankful For
by Joy Martin, Set Me Free Ministries Co-founder
It appears that the current “thing” to do on Facebook is to list one thing you’re thankful for every day for thirty days. Although I haven’t personally started posting my own list of thanks on my Facebook page, I have very much enjoyed everyone else’s notes. Reading all of the things that bring people joy makes me smile. It’s also a good reminder of just how blessed I am. After all, I have a family who loves me and friends who support me, and on top of that, my husband Zach and I are blessed with a steady income, a roof over our heads, food on our table, and clothes on our backs. And although by American standards, we’re not rich by any stretch of the imagination, by the world’s standards, we are incredibly blessed indeed.
But you know what? Although I truly am thankful for all of those things and more, there is something I am even more thankful for. I am thankful for my God—the One, True God. Not only is He the Creator of the Universe and the Maker of heaven and earth (as if that’s not impressive enough), but in all His wisdom and glory, He actually sent His Son to earth in order to live and die so that one day I could be with Him in paradise. Yep. I’d say that’s something worth being thankful for.
But when you think about God in those terms, it’s easy to lose perspective, because He sounds so, well, BIG. At times it’s easy to revert back to a childlike picture of God as a large, intimidating man with flowing white hair and a beard who looms in the skies. If that’s how you see God, you may also think of Him as someone who sits on His throne and waits for us to screw up so He can lash out in judgment. Or as someone who is so busy ruling the Universe that He doesn’t have time for your problems, which certainly must be unimportant when you take all of the world’s dilemmas into consideration. You may think of Him as impersonal, distant, or removed from the real world.
Well, if that’s the picture of God you have stuck in your head, I have some good news for you. In fact, I have news that will give you something new to add to your Facebook list of thanks. The news? My God—the One, True God—is none of those things. In fact, He’s quite the opposite.
I was reminded of this today as I was reading one of those “thankful” posts I mentioned earlier. Only instead of being thankful for a family member or a friend or possessions, this woman was thankful for something much greater. Here’s what she said: “I'm thankful that God cares about every detail of our lives and wants us to come to Him with everything. ‘Cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you.’ 1 Peter 5:7.”
I was struck by that statement. You see, the God of the Bible—the REAL God of the Bible—is a loving Father who wants nothing more than to have a personal relationship with each and every one of us, including you and me. He knows us intimately and cares for us more than we can even begin to fathom. How do I know? Because the Bible tells us over and over again. Here are just a few of my favorite examples: He knew us and saw us while we were still being formed in our mothers’ wombs (Ps. 139:13–16), He actually knows the very number of hairs on each of our heads (Matt. 10:30), and He even collects our tears in His bottle (Ps. 56:8). I, for one, think that’s some pretty solid evidence that God does, in fact, care for us, just as that Facebook post mentioned. And that, indeed, is a lot to be thankful for.