What am I grateful for? It’s an important question to stop and ask from time to time. Do you ask it? Do you ask it often?
When I pray with my three-year-old much of the content is thanksgiving. Thanks for people in our lives that she loves, thanks for school (aka day care) and her teachers and friends. Thanks for good sleep and good food and a nice place to live.
I’m thankful for warm winter sunshine through glass. I’m thankful for crisp morning air. I’m thankful for the smell of fresh cut grass and baking bread. I’m thankful for the taste of fresh coconuts and Pacific pineapples. I’m thankful for sand between my toes. I’m thankful for the laughter of my children and the sound of rain on a tin roof.
I’m thankful for my two little miracles. They keep my wife and I on our heels, but they are a surprising and exciting adventure every day.
I’m thankful for relationships. My parents, siblings, in-laws, colleagues, friends and acquaintances from all around the world. But especially my wife. Marriage is hard, some days more than others, but I’ve learned so much about myself and others by being with her. She challenges me and I’m grateful to have her by my side, walking this journey together.
I’m thankful for the church—local and global—in all its expressions.
I’m thankful that I’m part of the South Pacific Division. A most beautiful part of the world, where mission and cooperation have always been central. All of you, our church members, whether in Tuvalu or Kiribati, Pitcairn or Perth, Tasmania or Rabaul, from one end of this Division to the other—for your dedication, belief, passion and mission focus.
I’m thankful for our forebears who took the gospel around these distant regions at much personal cost and risk. I’m thankful for Ellen White and her foresight during her time in Australia that ensured that we have been set up for success—with a system that has health, education, media/print, health food and local churches all working together.
I’m thankful for good theology. For the assurance of God’s love and Christ’s victory. For the peace that comes knowing God keeps His promises: to come back and defeat death and the grave. Speaking of the grave, I’m grateful for the hope we have that death is not the end, that the dead know nothing until the trumpet call and that we’ll see our loved ones again. I’m thankful for the Sabbath and guilt-free rest with God, family and friends. I’m thankful I’m not expected to be perfect but glad I’m encouraged to be better, that the Spirit is remodelling my character. I’m thankful for God’s character, that my theology helps me make sense of this broken world in which we find ourselves.
I’m so grateful that God chooses to use me in His purposes both broadly and specifically. He has called us “out of darkness and into His marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9). I’m thankful we’ve been called to partner with Him in His ministry of reconciliation with the world (1 Corinthians 5), to share the “everlasting good news” (Revelation 14:6), be His witnesses “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8) as salt and light in the world (Matthew 5). I’m thankful for my own personal calling, to write and communicate light and life for the world. And to use that calling in the service of the Church and Adventist Media.
I’m so thankful for the ministry of Adventist Record—125 years of serving the Church in this region, for educating, informing, inspiring, nurturing members and building up our community. I’m thankful for the ministry of Signs of the Times, its 136 years of service and the chance to share an accessible Adventist worldview with a broader community audience.
I’m thankful for education and freedom, to think, question, believe, learn and grow. I’m thankful to live in a part of the world where those things are accessible and I’m thankful to those who don’t—they inspire the rest of us by their convictions and suffering.
So I ask you again: What are you thankful for? Take some time today or this week to thank God for His goodness and grace.