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Thankful? For What? – My Strange List

giving-thanks-to-godKey Bible Verse: O Lord my God … Your plans for us are too numerous to list. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them. Psalm 40:5

Bonus Reading: Psalm 16:1-11

I don’t expect to ever again make the kind of money I made playing baseball, or receive the acclaim I received as a major-league pitcher. God’s idea of prosperity for us goes much deeper. He wants us to prosper in our relationships—in our families, with others, and ultimately with him.

That’s why last Thanksgiving, when I sat down to make a list of the ways God had blessed me, I came up with a strange list, including a bad marriage; infertility; my drinking problem; Christine’s broken neck; the end of my baseball career; and four adopted special-needs children, including Nicole, a brain-damaged, one-handed little girl who may or may not ever by potty-trained, say “I love you,” or call me Daddy.

I can honestly say I’m thankful for those things because each has played a major role in drawing me closer to the Lord. Take Nicole. She throws her arms wide in joyous welcome whenever she sees me across the room, and clings tightly to me when I hold her. Her unconditional love challenges me every day. She’s like an angel in the midst of our family, modeling God’s perfect, abundant love.

—Tim Burke in Major League Dad

My Response: A difficulty I’m experiencing that God may have designed with a blessing up-side is …

Thought to Apply: The more mature prayers of thanksgiving are for obstacles overcome, insights gained, lessons learned, help received in time of need, strength to persevere, opportunities to serve others.     —Fleming Rutledge (minister)

Adapted from Major League Dad (Focus on the Family, 1994)

Prayer for the Week: Give me a fresh awareness, Lord, of those gifts I’ve taken for granted.



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