So Much to be Thankful For


Many of us have so much to be thankful for, but do not realize it until we hear the testimony of others.  For those whose testimony includes deliverance at an early age, praise God for his grace in sparing you from what could have happened.  For those who have experienced life without Christ but have been saved from their situations and forgiven as adults, you have been given grace by God.  Personally, when I was a teenager I wished that I could have had a more "exciting" test-imony.  I was born to God fearing parents, who themselves also had been born into Christian homes.  I was raised in the things of the Lord and was taught His word from infancy.  One evening when I was 5 or 6 years old after our bedtime Bible story, which had been about Jesus' crucifixion, I asked my Dad why Jesus had died on the cross.  It was then that my Dad explained the redemption story to me and I asked Jesus to come into my heart and take away my sins.  I was baptized later as a young adult.  I am the oldest in a family of 6 children, so I learned alot about responsibility and sharing.  My parents home schooled us, which protected us from alot of different worldly influences.  When I was 10 my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and in the beginning had some very bad bouts, including going almost completely blind, as well as losing the feeling over most of her body.  That in itself is quite a testimony, if  I could only have half the faith that she does.  In those hard times I did help my Mom as much as I could, as did my siblings who were old enough to be of assistance.  Our church provided some care and lots of comfort, but most appreciated were their prayers.  My mom has since recovered most of her vision and some feeling in her body, though she still has bouts with numbness.  God has used her situation to be an amazing example to me as well as others.  I have learned alot through it.  Now I am married and have a child of my own, and my prayer is that I can be a good wife and mother, with God's help.  In my teenage years I experienced a rebellious spirit to some degree and have said and done things that I shouldn't have.  But because of God's grace my parents' instruction, and my personal relationship with the Lord, I never strayed far.  When I was 19 I had the opportunity to go on a missions' trip.  It involved a twelve weeks of  Discipleship Training  and then eight weeks of foreign missions.  My group traveled to Hong Kong and China reaching people through Friendship Evangelism.  It is amazing  that in that time when I was the  farthest away from home, it was the closest I have ever felt to God.  Being in a country that is closed to the gospel really opened my eyes on a first hand basis to how blessed I am to be able to worship God freely.  I only desire that the ferver and dedication to my convictions were more like they would be if Christianity were not legal in this country.  All I can say is I am thankful for God,s grace and mercy in everything he has done, is doing, and has yet to do.  It is amazing to have a relationship with my God, the One who created me and everything around me.  Awesome!   Rhoda