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I am thankful     

Posted by Katherine Putnam on November 23rd, 2012

“So I am thankful that I’m incapable of doing any good on my own.”

Happy day after Thanksgiving everyone!

When trying to think of a quote or lyric to use for today’s title, “Thankful” by Caedmon’s Call was the first to jump to mind. After rereading the lyrics my mind meandered from a Thanksgiving post to other matters, but no matter, I’ll forge on and see if I can’t wrangle both topics into one post.

I am thankful for a kind, forgiving, funny, responsible, frugal, creative, intelligent, handsome, Christ-seeking husband. I am so thankful to have a partner that I can truly partner with. I am especially thankful for the ways he plans and prays for provision for our family.

I am thankful for the new job opportunity that Chris will begin next month. I am thankful for the ways God blessed him at his current job and I am thankful for the new blessings awaiting him at the next. I am especially thankful that this new job speaks more specifically to Chris’s interests and will give him great opportunities for increased knowledge and growth.

I am thankful for loving parents that have continually ministered to and cared for me, even at my brattiest and most sinful. As truly clueless and irresponsible people pass through my life (whether they are my elder, my peer, or junior to me), I am especially grateful for all the lessons I never realized my parents were teaching me. I am thankful that I learned to cook, clean, work, and manage my money; I am grateful that we were expected to complete chores and contribute in our household. I am thankful that they demonstrated financial responsibility, delayed gratification, and living within our means. I am thankful for the work ethic that they instilled in me, and for the way that smoothed my transition to living on my own. I was and am baffled, when I hear others complain that “cooking is just too hard” or “I don’t know how to do laundry” or when I don’t hear any complaints but merely see people going about their lives eating only fast food or microwavable meals, ignoring the dust and grime piling up around them, and indulging in every case of the gimmes. Perhaps that all comes across as judgmental, but the bottom line is that I’m grateful that my parents taught me to be a good steward of my money, to be responsible for whatever space and possessions are mine, and to–no adjectives or description needed–work.

I am thankful for the blessings that I take for granted every day: that I am not oppressed, abused, persecuted, or otherwise mistreated. I am made small by the fact that I earn a fair wage for my work, have never been bought or sold into slavery (sexual or otherwise), can praise my Savior however, whenever, and wherever I please, and that I have never had to choose between food and shelter.

I am thankful for mental and physical health.

I am thankful for all the joys Chris and I can enjoy now, and all the joys we have to look forward to.

I am thankful for kind and welcoming in-laws.

I am thankful that our country has such excess that frugality and minimalism (though I realize I’m not a true minimalist) are choices, not necessities.

Most of all, I am thankful for a God that loves me so much that He died for my sins: past, present, and future.

Caedmon’s Call sings:
You know I ran across an old box of letters
While I was bagging up some clothes for Goodwill
But you know I had to laugh that the same old struggles
That plagued me then are plaguing me still
I know the road is long from the ground to glory
But a boy can hope he’s getting some place
But you see, I’m running from the very clothes I’m wearing
And dressed like this I’m fit for the chase

‘Cause no, there is none righteous
Not one who understands
There is none who seek God
No not one, I said no not one

So I am thankful that I’m incapable
Of doing any good on my own

‘Cause we’re all stillborn and dead in our transgressions
We’re shackled up to the sin we hold so dear
So what part can I play in the work of redemption
I can’t refuse, I cannot add a thing

‘Cause I am just like Lazarus and I can hear your voice
I stand and rub my eyes and walk to You
Because I have no choice

I am thankful that I’m incapable
Of doing any good on my own
I’m so thankful that I’m incapable
Of doing any good on my own

‘Cause by grace I have been saved
Through faith that’s not my own
It is a gift of God and not by works
Lest anyone should boast

I am especially struck by the lyric “and you know I had a laugh that the same old struggles that plagued me then are plaguing me still.” How discouragingly true for me. It’s not that I’m going out each day and discovering wild new sins to take part in. Instead I find myself asking forgiveness day in and day out for the same sins. I’m overly critical (and struggle to find the balance because there’s a difference between being critical and critical thinking, and I want to lose the bad, not the good). I’m judgmental. I’m highly irritable, easy to frustrate, and quick to anger. I have a sharp, hurtful tongue. I hold grudges. I’m impatient. I’ve been told that I’m impossible to please. I am “stillborn and dead in [my] transgressions. [I’m] shackled up to the sin [I] hold so dear.”

Yet I can be thankful that I am free from sin. That doesn’t seem to make sense in light of what I just said. I am continually sinful, yet I am free from sin. Chris put it to me in those terms just the day before yesterday, and I didn’t understand it then. I’m not totally sure that I understand it now, but I am a little closer. It means that I am no longer bound to sin, no longer a slave to it. It means I am free to think in a positive light rather than a negative one. It means instead of thinking “I shouldn’t hold grudges, I shouldn’t sin” I can instead think “I am free from sin, I am free to choose forgiveness.” Does that make sense? It’s the joy of knowing that we are not imprisoned by our sin, that we have the choice to follow Christ. I think of the lyric “cause I am just like Lazarus and I can hear your voice. I stand and rub my eyes and walk to You because I have no choice.” I don’t see the words “because I have no choice” as being confining, as saying that we are forced to turn to Christ. Instead I see it as “what other choice would I make?” If the choices are sin (death) or Christ (life), then there is no choice. Why would we pick death when we are free to pick life?

I am thankful that I am free to choose life.

So that’s my Thanksgiving ramble.


Katherine Elyse

One Response to “I am thankful”     

  • sherry kane says:

    As always I enjoyed your ramble.
    Last Saturday we were discussing the sanctification process. Two encouraging word pictures of how we are being transformed even when we don’t feel it.
    1. If you drive by the bank and the electronic temp. says 80degrees and as your leaving town Goods temp. says 81degrees you don’t notice the change nevertheless, it occurred.
    2. When going up an escaltor it moves without your help (the power of the Holy Spirit moving in us) but you can get to the top quicker if you walk up the escalator (prayer, taking thoughts captive by the Word, swift to repent).
    Thankful for God’s work in all of us.

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