Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gratitude


by Rick Blumenberg / @rickblumenberg

Heavenly Father, as you know, I have been serving you now for more than fifty-five years and I just want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart for every year you've given me. I suppose, in the back of my mind I have always thought I had given those years to you, but today as I consider them, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness because I know that by comparison I have given you nothing at all. I have only received.

I received the privilege of being a part of creation's most powerful army—the Army of the Lord. There I learned to use your holy weapons of love, compassion, gentleness, kindness, self-control, to name only a few, weapons to be used against those spiritual enemies that war against our souls. I am amazed at how effective they are, but also at how difficult it has been and sometimes still is to learn to, and remember to, use them.

You, Lord, have given me strength in my times of weakness, wisdom in my perplexity, guidance when I had lost, or was about to lose, my way, and through it all a sense of joy at being a beloved child of God. You never made me feel guilty for being less than perfect and you taught me that when guilt and condemnation were heaped upon me it was the enemy, not You, who dumped on me, and it was you, Lord, not the enemy, who restored me to confidence and joy in your Holy Spirit.

This is not to say it has always been easy. There were times when I felt like quitting, but acting on those feelings was never a real consideration. Even in the difficult times I knew you were with me and that made it all, not only worthwhile, but the source of a great satisfaction. To be a servant of the most high God, the only true and living God, makes any hardship insignificant.

These many years of serving you Lord, have been to me, a blessing beyond words. In the distant past I thought my service was my gift to you, but through the years I have learned that my service was really your gift to me. You didn’t need me. You could have done it all without me, but you gave me the gift of your marvelous Presence, allowing me to serve with you and thus have a significance far beyond my own ordinary abilities.

I can only ask that for all the remainder of my life, whether it be lengthy or brief, that I might have the high privilege of serving you God, in every moment that I know, with every breath that I breath, and with every ounce of my strength. If I can do so, that will be my inexpressible joy. 

I'm Rick Blumenberg . . . and that's My View from Tanner Creek.
       

2 comments:

Joe Allison said...

Thomas Merton once wrote in his journal, "My life here--a little solidity and very much ashes. Almost everything is ashes. What I have prized most is ashes. What I have attended to least is, perhaps, a little solid."

You don't have to make that confession, Rick. You've not been building with stubble and sticks, which will be consumed by fire, but to setting in place the "living stones" for a habitation where the Lord himself dwells. Thank you for your faithfulness, brother.

Rick Blumenberg said...

Thanks Brother Joe, for your kind words.