“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all of your wonderful deeds.” [Psalm 9:1]
2014; a year end reflection letter. A thank you letter more than anything else. It is now 2017, and this letter still resonates. More so now than it did then. “His mercies endures forever, and are new every morning”
This year has been a year of exceeding blessings as foretold. Where do I even begin?
It feels like it has been more than a year, yet the year has not even neared its close. Yet, in this short time, I have learned so much, gained so much, and have been blessed so immensely in everything. Let me jump right in. I thank You for the heart breaks and the heart aches, because in them, You showed me that I could never shatter beyond Your repair. I thank You for the disappointments and seeming closed doors, because in them, You showed me that You are always working for me behind the scene, crafting opportunities according to Your perfect will for my life. I thank You for the sad times, the down times. The times I cried myself to sleep. The times when I wept silently, internally. Because in them, You showed me that it is only in Your joy that I find my strength, and that Your strength is made perfect in my weakness. I thank You for the times I felt lonely, because in those moments, You showed me that you are always, always, there with me, fulfilling Your promise to never leave me nor forsake me.
You have helped me to understand that though I may feel lonely, I am never alone because You are always close by me. Closer than the very air I breathe.
I thank You for Your love, because in it, I learned two important things:
1) You are the definition of love – daily, unconditional (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
2) You love me just as I am – ‘Flaws and all’
You do not expect me to be perfect in order to be loved by You. Instead, You desire that I allow Your love to transform me from the inside out. You desire for me to allow You to lavish Your love on me, in my imperfections, till all I see is You; till all I see is LOVE.
From this place of love, You demand that I leave all of my burdens, my cares, my woes, my sorrows, my worries, my sadness, my pain – all of it – at your feet for You to carry. From this place of love, You ask that I accept this gift from You; Your peace – that is above any human understanding. I am short of words, instead, I just say thank You. I thank You for my times of need, because in them, You showed me that my needs can never exhaust Your supply. You have helped me to understand that when You say a thing, You stand by it until it is accomplished. You never go back on Your word.
I thank You for my family and friends, because in Your infinite wisdom, You knew/know that it is not pleasant for anyone to be alone. I thank You because through them, You help me to understand how to show and operate in love – even when it is not convenient or appealing to me. I especially thank You for my enemies, because You taught me how to love them (though hard), which shaped the person I am today. It has given me more peace in my soul than I may ever understand. Loving them has made me a better person for Your glory.
I thank You for the snow, the rain, the sun, the heat, and the moon; because these elements, as they change, have helped me to better understand that nothing -not even my problems- last forever. Everything has its season and will change in/with time. I thank You for experiences that I have been privileged to face, take on, and enjoy; because in them, I know You are preparing me for wherever it is You are leading me – in Your time. I thank You for each day, because in them, I have new opportunities to learn and to grow.
I thank You because I am not where I want to be, but You have placed me where I need to be, far from where I was.
In this, You continue to preserve my life and uphold me in Your care. For these and many more, words cannot express just how grateful I am. I am alive, I am well. I can see, eat, drink, talk, sit, stand, lie down, kneel, walk, jump, roll, bend, taste, touch, breathe. My organs function properly, food digests, heart pumps blood, muscles move, tendons, ligaments, tissues, bones, even fats all work in unison as they should. I do not list these to boast, but instead to say thank You. There are many that are not alive to experience these, and many who are alive but do not experience these. It is not because I am somebody more special or of more worth, No. Instead, You are teaching me never to take anything for granted. For You have created everyone fearfully and wonderfully, and have blessed us all so that Your name is glorified in everyone of us.
More than anything else, I say THANK YOU for sending Your one and only Son, Jesus Christ to die in my place so that I will not have to for my sins. Thank You for opening the way – the narrow way – for me to get back to You, and be with You in Your Kingdom. I thank You for granting me various opportunities to come to know Him, because if I am being honest, I tried to run away from You and do my own thing many times. You never gave up on me. You chose me, You choose me still. I will be fooling myself If I think that my ‘thank Yous’ are sufficient enough to express just how grateful I am for all that You have done for me.
If I counted all the grains of sand by the ocean side, all the stars in the sky in the deep of night, and every drop of water in the vast oceans; they will not be enough to express how thankful I am for all that You are to me.
You promised that You would bless me this year, and though I may not have material gains to show or quantify my blessings; the peace, joy, calm amidst frustrating situations, the love that envelopes me, and the grace that You have given to me is much more than any material blessing I could ask for, think of, or imagine. You dug me out of a pit of misery, and set me on a solid rock – a mountain top – my foundation; and for this, Lord, Saviour, Friend, I say Thank You.
I pray that through the remainder of this year, You bless all those who have read this, even much more than You have blessed me in Jesus name.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Crossway Bibles, 2001.