I am Grateful!

It’s my birthday week and since surviving the fight for my life, I have learned the importance of appreciating each new year of life I get. I realize that I am not entitled to another year, not even another day. Each moment I live is a gift from God.

Just over three years ago I stared down the barrel of death. The hospital staff spoke with my husband about making end of life arrangements for me. Would you have asked me then if I thought that I could nearly miss my milestone birthday to the snare of death, I would have laughed! Sadly, up until then, while I thanked God for each day, I don’t think I truly understood the gift that life really is. I am not entitled to life. Life is a gift from God.

So this week I pause to thank God for another year. Yes, I pause. Anyone who knows me well can tell you and I move non-stop. So, this week I pause to thank God. I am intentionally slowing down to reflect on the Lord’s many blessings in my life. Top on my list for which I am grateful is my loving community of family, friends, and mentors.  I am grateful for another chance to breathe and open my mouth to declare the goodness of the Lord.

The Bible tells the story of King Hezekiah who fell deathly ill. God sent the prophet Isaiah to tell him to get his affairs in order because he would soon pass away. When the king heard that news, as you can imagine he wept bitterly. But not only that, he prayed, crying out to God for mercy. God heard his prayers. Soon the prophet turned around and told him that he would live, for God would add 15 more years to his life. Upon receiving that good news, this grateful king penned a poem of praise found in Isaiah 38:9-20. Verse 18 stands out to me today. It says,

“For the dead cannot praise you; they cannot raise their voices in praise. Those who go down to the grave can no longer hope in your faithfulness.”

In the words of Elder Ratliff, a faithful prayer warrior at my church, “It might be snowing outside, but I won’t complain, at least I’m not under it!” So, with this new year of life, I will praise God! Yes, with this new opportunity to live, I will hope in His faithfulness. Will you join me?