Today I didn't sleep in or go for a walk in the crisp air. I didn't dress up or see my family. I didn't watch a single parade or football game. Tomorrow I won't be getting up early to go shopping. I had an omelet and tomato's for dinner. I spent the day working in a dirty warehouse.
This is an international ship and the day only had meaning to the Americans. Other countries don't celebrate American Thanksgiving.
This Thanksgiving has not been typical. But typical is so overrated.
Being in West Africa there are a slew of physical things I have a deepened appreciation for. Like clean water, electricity, trash cans, paved roads, parents, food, houses with roofs and floors, cars to drive, the Internet, computers, phones, clothes, sturdy shoes, and health care.
There are the deeper issues that touch that deeply affect are humanity that I am grateful for. Like being born in a country that values and respects women never having to worry about leaking urine because I had not obstetric care. I've never lived in a place where rape was legal. I received and education and can read and write. I have a job. I've never seen a Friend or family member shot in front of me or had to run into the bush fleeing for my life.
Tonight, the Americans gathered together for some pumpkin and apple pie. It was very yummy. We went around and said something we were thankful for. Being here the list is so long. But the deepest truth, the thing I am most thankful for, is God's faithfulness. That He saved me. That He has given me so many beautiful and precious promises in His word. Truly His Words are strength for the weary, water for the thirsty soul, hope for the hopeless, love for the broken, and a rock of refuge in times of trouble. I am thankful for the security and steadfastness's that is always found in Christ.
And He is simply calling me to follow Him. Not to serve Him, not to save the world, not to be faithful, not to accomplish much, not to be strong, not to be beautiful, not to be wise; He'd rather that I was just His small child. I am free to fall, free to be weak, free to be unimpressive so that the glory would not be mine but be Christs. So that He might be my strength, He might be my steady feet, He might be the beauty and song of my life. I can just be the earthen vessel. Entirely ordinary.
Grace is demanding while it demands nothing. There nothing we could ever do to deserve any love or forgiveness, all the righteousness bestowed upon our lives is entirely God's grace. And yet, if truly live surrendered to grace we find ourselves standing at the very thrown of our king, our hearts broken and filled with love. We then are free to no longer live our lives before men but instead before our king. The very nature of His holiness will demand more than any dream or debt and leave our faces buried in loving reverence towards the ground. And grace will again pick us up and fill our lips with heavenly praises. Songs of adoration and love.
I'm most thankful for grace.
Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life;”