My Thanksgiving List 2007

It is finally fall and we are in the middle of Hallow-thank-mas, the season of the year which seems to boggle the mind with an onslaught of advertising, merchandise and parties galore. Thanksgiving falls in the middle and does not often get its fair share of attention with all the festivities of the other two holidays.

Still, most of us find some time to consider what we’re thankful for. Each of our lists are unique. This year seems a bit different, a bit more unique. I have had one thing which has not left my list all year that I am thankful for. This year, I am thankful for my cancer.

I know it sounds strange. I am thankful I am a cancer survivor going on eight years but I am also thankful for the experience and for the struggle. I am thankful for the people I have meet along the way and for the people I have been able to help and encourage along the journey.

I am thankful it was testicular cancer, a cancer not often spoke of but one common among young men. So I’m thankful I have had opportunities to speak and raise awareness about a cancer which, if caught early, often responds well to treatments.

I am thankful because facing cancer helps me appreciate life more fully. It causes me to consider how important relationships are in life. I treasure my family more. Each moment with my wife and kids seems more of a treasure. Every moment with my friends and neighbors, has become a more special time. Even on the most gray, stormy days, the sky seems more like a bluish-gray.

When I visit with people in the hospital or at home facing different medical procedures or cancer, I am thankful I have an idea of what it is like and I am able to serve others in a way I could not before cancer.

Since I have walked in shoes I never imagined I would, I am learning to give thanks and more deeply understand and appreciate a God who did the same for us, in order to reach out to us. Even Jesus’ closest friends did not understand Jesus was God with them. When Philip asked,
"Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father... (John 14:8-9 ESV)

So while I am thankful for all I have experienced in facing cancer, I am even more thankful for a God who did not watch us from a distance but a God who took on flesh and experienced life among us. I am thankful for a God who, in Jesus, became like us, to reach us. I am thankful God never stops reaching for us.

May I Ask: What have you been thankful for this year?

May I Suggest: Set aside some time to put together a list. When and where possible, let others know what your thankful for. Maybe even take time to share it on Thanksgiving day.


Anonymous said...

Before I met my husband he was in a car accident. At 16 years old, he was the front seat passenger and hit the windshield as the car slid off the road and hit a tree. He was in a coma for nearly 3 weeks, and spent a year learning how to walk and talk again. He says he's not glad that the accident happened, but he's glad that he came through it all okay and he's glad of who he has become because of that experience.

God doesn't put us in challenging situations just to see how we deal with it, but he allows us to learn to appreciate our gifts and blessings.

May all of us, whether or not we have been tried and tested, find ways to be grateful for our many blessings.

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