Years ago, I began a tradition of writing a thank you letter to God. Each November I sat with pen in hand, silently reflecting in solitude on the gracious gifts God bestowed on me. If you could have looked into the windows of my life at the time, I possessed few belongings. I left my abusive husband and travelled 1,100 miles to live in my parent’s basement.
Although I possessed few belongings, my heart overflowed with gratitude.
Non-things. Those topped the list. Family, friends, and my precious relationship with Jesus adorned this thank you letter to the Lord. Freedom – something often taken for granted – also hit the top ten. The fact that I could walk and move easily found its way into the letter. I’d been an athlete since childhood, but at age 28 a weird disease called ankylosing spondylitis entered my life. Many say it’s more painful than childbirth, and by the time I started writing these letters, my heart filled with tears of gratitude if I could walk, dress myself, drive, and use the restroom without excruciating pain.
Over the years I wrote many such letters of thanks to God. But somewhere along life’s voyage, I stopped writing them. I don’t remember when or why, but before Thanksgiving, I once again will sit down with paper and pen to write my thank you letter to God.
And this year, I invite you to do the same. Your heart will overflow with gladness as life’s pitfalls and dreary days fade into the background and gratitude bursts through like daffodils in early Spring. Pull up a chair, grab a pen, a cup of coffee, and let your heart sing a song of gratitude to God.
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1Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, O my soul.