Reflecting on the year past is often done by most people in January as the beginning of the New Year begins. For me, it happens each year during the American holiday, Thanksgiving, approaches.
What would I be most grateful for this year in 2017?
You might think my new grandbaby boy, Clyde Oliver, delivered by his dad in the front seat of the car would be at the top of the list, or the endless joy of his older sister, Kennady Renn, or perhaps even the devotion of husband, Phil Cooke, might be at the top of the list as we celebrated forty years of marriage and visited eight countries speaking or producing media in 2017. But it’s not. It’s not even how grateful I am for the blessing of our children, Bailey Christine, or Kelsey Taylor and son by marriage Christopher William. Nor is it how grateful I am for the sustainable provision of our company, Cooke Pictures, and the outstanding work of our employees. It’s not either how grateful I am that I even have a home as it was miraculously spared from the largest fire in LA history, or even that of the publishing of my first devotional book, Hope 4 Today. Yes, any of those things could be at the top of my list of what I am grateful for this past year.
How could I not put my family, children, grandchildren, and the physical wealth of this world at the top of my most grateful list?
Because they aren’t in the light of the one thing that I will ever be grateful for in this uncertain world. My ability to know God. What will always top my grateful list is my relationship with Him and the accessibility I have to Him because of Jesus. What will always top the list is my ability to engage with Him in prayer and the Bible. God’s “word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
Knowing God allows me to see. His presence illuminates everything else.
The things of this world have no meaning without God’s illumination of knowledge, wisdom, grace, and forgiveness. When I end my journey on earth it’s my relationship with Him that will never cease. His word will be the guiding light that will take me on to eternal peace and what has sustained me while on earth. His Word, the Bible, the lamp for my life, will continue to be what I am eternally grateful for that I can leave behind for those who journey on in this world. God’s Word promises that He will never depart from us – ever. As my 3-year-old grand-daughter says “it’s sooooooo goooood” and I’m so grateful.
Have you found the most important thing on earth to be grateful for in life yet?