Really, it is. So many whom I love. I’d like to think I treasure them each and every day. But I know that I don’t.
Until … they are …
Too busy … too sick … imprisoned … or—-just plain … gone.
Oh … how it hurts my heart to be without them. Regardless of how intentional we are at appreciating those we love, we don’t really know … how much we miss them until all we can do–is miss them–and remember.
I lost one of my uncles last month. He loved my fruitcake. Making it this year was very different. I thought of him the whole time, and prayed for my family as they are missing him acutely right now. A very close family member is is in prison. One of my sisters isn’t able to come down this year. Thinking about sharing a holiday without them breaks my heart. We won’t really be “together” without them. Then there are my friends who are seriously ill. Their continual absence squeezes my heart.
So at this time of intentional thanks-giving, I find myself thinking of the people who God has given me–those here and those not. My heart wells with emotion over those I miss.
If his letters are any indication, the Apostle Paul’s heart was always thankful for people. He started almost all of his letters with words of love and gratitude for them.
Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world. (Romans 1:8)
I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Corinthians 1:4)
We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Colossians 1:3)
We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. (1 Thessalonians 1:3)
Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon. (Philemon 4)
What’s great about Paul, is that he told his friends that he thanked God for them … first thing … all the time … and always … he couldn’t help it! His heart was so full of thankfulness, that it was the first thing that spilled out of his heart to his friends when he was talking to them, and to the Lord when he was praying for them.
What would it be like for those around us if they knew that we were truly thankful for their lives–for who they are. If we told them that on a regular basis, would it change things? I think so.
I think it can be a game changer in relationships–especially those on rocky terrain.
When we are expressing thanks, we aren’t thinking about the things we don’t like, or the things we wish were different. We aren’t saying hurtful or harmful things. Instead, we are giving them words of life and healing.Give love and healing by telling others you are thankful for them and the place they have in your life.
I’m thankful for you!