I am rich. I’m overwhelmingly rich, but I’m not talking about a bank account or houses or stuff. I’m not even talking about the fact that I live in one of the most wealthy nations on earth where we have more material wealth than 99% of all people in the world. Those things describe many Americans.
I’ve been blessed with a supportive husband of 25 years and with four wonderful daughters. These favorite people of mine have made me laugh, cry, throw a fit, and have melted my heart. I am rich in knowing them as my own. I have a wonderful extended family whom I love with all my heart. I have great friends who point me to Jesus, and some with whom I just love to laugh. My family and I have had a very rich experience in a church family that follows Christ and practices grace and mercy. We have many rich relationships there that nurture us and grow us as people.
Yet on top of all these wonderful blessings, the greatest blessing is the sense of peace that God has given me simply in belong in to Him. I’ve been a follower of Christ for many years. I’ve loved Him and served Him. I’ve considered Him to be the most important person in my life. I’ve led others and challenged myself. However, for some time now, there has been something new happening. It is a work of God’s grace in my life. It’s really rather hard to explain, except that when I asked God what He still wanted from my life He began to lay things on my heart.
The past several years I have seen a great transformation. I’m not sure if anyone can see it from outside, but from the inside, I have been stretched and I have grown tremendously. My life is now found in the life of Christ, and other things have increasingly faded into background. It may be hard to explain, but as I give up my own plans, ambitions, goals, and dreams, His plans for me have come into focus and have brought me more joy and peace than the things I’d planned for myself.
God has given me an intense sense of purpose. He has filled me with energy to serve Him in new ways, an has given me training and opportunities to do so. I can’t tell you how it touches my heart that He has allowed me to participate in His kingdom in this way.
God has also challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone. Most specifically, this has involved becoming more vulnerable and open with who I am in order to lead in new ways. My contemplative, inward ways of processing my faith and of leading are becoming more outward, which, as a surprise to me, has brought additional blessings.
On this Thanksgiving all I can say is: Great is God’s grace, mercy and peace. Great are His blessings. I am giving thanks. Indeed, I am rich!