This past July I turned 70 years old. In my short life I have witnessed cultural changes that distress the righteous soul. Typically my articles address the many events occurring in our nation from a biblical perspective. But not this week, as we looking forward to Thanksgiving this year I wanted to take time to share some things for which I am thankful.
My wife and I are retired and are very blessed. All of our material needs are well met and we live in a rural community and enjoy a slow paced, bucolic lifestyle. We live on five acres and my wife can garden as much as she wants, and I can read and study my Bible to my heart’s content and my prayer life is growing. I am grateful for this.
One would have to be a recluse to not know our world is racked with conflict. As Jesus predicted there are “wars and rumors of wars,” something at the moment from which I am spared. As a Vietnam veteran I have experienced war firsthand and to live in peace when surrounded by so much turmoil, I am thankful.
I am thankful for all of these things, but they are not what I am most thankful for.
I turned 8 during the summer of 1960. Though I do not remember the specific date, during a Sunday morning service I became convicted of my sin and need for a Savior. My mother took me to meet with our pastor, Rev. Hugh Walters, before the Sunday evening service. After counseling with me brother Walters said if I was serious about trusting Christ I should come forward during the closing invitation.
I remember purposely sitting next to the center aisle to be ready when the time came. When the congregation began to sing the invitation hymn there was a struggle in my young heart. Fear of walking to the front of the auditorium and confessing I was a sinner in front of so many adults was intimidating.
But I remember reasoning within my heart and mind that I did not want to go to hell because I was afraid of what others thought whoever they were. As I stepped into the aisle something happened that to this day I cannot fully explain. The Holy Spirit met my step of faith and I experienced what theologians call regeneration, and Jesus called being born again.
I thank God for my salvation and knowing my future is secure in Christ. We do indeed live in troubled times, but my heart during this thanksgiving season echoes the words of another who lived during troubled times:
“Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength,” Habakkuk 3:17-19a.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!