# 2 of My Top 5 Thanksgiving Blessings: My Family
David Bahn-Reflections Podcast
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
The Top Five things for which I am thankful fall into five broad categories. In reverse order of their importance they are…
# 5: Things I can taste, smell, touch, see, and hear.
# 4: Freedoms and blessings we enjoy in these United States of America
# 3: Family of believers – brothers and sisters in Christ
# 2: Family, wife, children, grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews
# 1: The goodness, love, and grace of God shown in Jesus Christ.
Today’s thanksgiving blessing: My Family wife, children, grandchildren, sister, inlaws, cousins, nieces and nephews
I recently was asked to answer three personal questions, one of which is, “Where is your happy place?” My answer was simple…When I’m with my family, as many as possible of our children, grandchildren, cousins, sisters, nieces and nephews.” We had that this summer when we gathered family in Florida for a family celebration in honor of Diane’s and my retirements from full time ministry. We had as many as 20 or more people on one occasion during that time. It was truly a place of personal joy for me.
We’ve had other brushes with such joy. A few years ago we had family here after Christmas. I should add that after Christmas has been a staple of our family celebrations due to the rigorous schedule of Advent, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day services in the churches I’ve served. Most recently there were 5 services on Christmas Eve and one on Christmas Day. Our son, one year after being with us in the week before Christmas and through that day said, “We’ll never come again before Christmas. You are just too busy for family during that time.”
But after Christmas there is great margin for family celebrations. We’ve either traveled to see our children’s grandparents on Christmas Day, or looked forward to their visits shortly after Christmas Day. One year was a bit of a letdown for our sons, but a strong and strangely happy memory for me.
After the Christmas Day worship service we piled into our big blue 8-passenger Dodge van and headed for Missouri. Our kids weren’t very happy about this plan – especially the one who had received a new graphics card for his computer. He would have to wait for a week to plug it in and try it out. To make matters worse for them, almost all restaurants were closed on Christmas Day. It was cold and snowing and we were hungry. Finally we saw a Waffle House that was open. It was not only open, it was crowded. We had to wait for a table. I was truly delighted to be there with my family. I think I was the only one in that happy mood. Mention Waffle House today, and groans and complaints quickly surface. But it was family time for me.
We don’t have the perfect family. We each bring our own brokenness or shadow-side with us into every relationship. Nothing is without needed compromise, grace, forgiveness, and on occasion, the ministry of holding one’s tongue (cf. Dietrich Bonhoeffer). But I am thankful for my family. My wife is a Proverbs 31 woman, of whom I say, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” My children are a blessing for which I give thanks. Likewise our 9 grandchildren, and all the others. I thank God for my family. It’s # 2 on my list. Tomorrow I’ll share #1.
Thanksgiving blessings to you and Diane.
May the God of Hope bring you peace and joy this day
As you trust in HIM.
May his peace and joy rest upon you too! Blessings!