Over the past couple of days I have been keenly aware of the value of trying to attain or maintain a thankful heart. Somehow, I think that we can find the peace of God there as we bask in an awareness of that which He has given us, even amidst great pain and difficulty, and offer that back to Him on the pillow of thanksgiving.
So, today, I quite simply want to express my gratitude to God for the friends that He has given me, and all that they have done for me. As I look back over the last several years and even more so months, I can see how God has used each friend in a unique way to build me up, hold me together or let me fall a part in a safe place.
I am thankful for meals, cards(I have saved every one) and phone calls. I am thankful for friends who offer up prayers for me and my family. You have stormed the gates of heaven for us, and I am confident that God is using them. I am thankful for the friends who come over to my house, even when I want to just hide and cry, and thankful for the ones who give me space when I need it. I am thankful for friends who encourage me with God's Word. You will never know how it cuts straight to my soul and nourishes me when I need it most. I am thankful for the people who take a risk and care for me, even when they do not know what to say; I feel the Lord's presence when they took the time. I am thankful for friends who stand on truth and do not tolerate sin. I am thankful for friends who take time for my children, giving them attention and showing them what it means to be the family of God. I am thankful for the wisdom and discernment that friends share with me, not fearing man, but fearing God only, in all that they say. I am thankful for friends who sit with me late in to the night and hear my pain, and then do something silly to make me laugh. I am thankful for my friends who believe in me, even when I do not believe in myself, and encourage me to be all that I can be. I am thankful for their words of encouragement about Who God is who I am and about what I write.
Proverbs 17:17 says, "A friend loves at all times." Like the card above sent by a friend says, a friend does love Through Thick and Thin. In addition, Through Thick and Thin we are to cultivate a heart of thankfulness. So, thank you to the Lord and thank you to my dear friends. They show me the love of God and hold out the Light to light my path when the darkness feels too dark for me to see. I have learned of the love and peace of God through all of them.