Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Plans

As I was working toward the close of the day Wednesday, the customer for whom I had been trimming trees asked me what plans we had for Thanksgiving. After asking this she turned to me and asked, “Do you have children?” I answered as I usually answer, “No, we have not been given any children.” She responded, “Oh, that’s too bad. You would be a very good father.”

I have often wondered about that myself. I have often thought that I would very much enjoy being a father. I have often thought that I would enjoy teaching my children the wonderful good news of the grace of God in Christ Jesus the Lord. I know beyond any doubt that I would relish playing with my children. I have always enjoyed playing with children and teaching the Gospel to children. I love to see the sparkle in their eyes when they realize how much God loves them. I love to hear their joyful squeals as I swing them in the air and push them on a swing and pull them in a wagon.

Yet I also have sometimes thanked God for His wisdom in not giving us children. I have not known His reasons, but I have seen the horrible anguish of broken families. I have seen the distress of dysfunction and abuse. I have seen the heartache of parents when their children turn to many harmful choices. I also know the persecutions that the Lord has led us into and through and have realized how difficult these times would have been with children in tow.

So I acknowledge that whatever His reasons are, His reasons are good and merciful and loving and I give thanks. Yet I also look upon those who have been blessed with children and I acknowledge that they are truly blessed by God. I don’t think that I envy them, but I do acknowledge the blessings. I enjoy watching them and sometimes having the privilege of interacting with them. Yes, watching others with their children, is a source of great joy.

Truly this day of national Thanksgiving is a day for parents to give thanks for their children and for children to give thanks for their parents. This is true at all ages of people. Together we give thanks for all of God’s blessings and share in the wondrous knowledge that God is not only God, but our gracious Father, who has redeemed us with the price of His only-begotten Son in order that we may give thanks without fear of judgment, rejoicing in His fatherly love and care, for Jesus’ sake.

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