What I Am and Have, By Alan Wimbish
Henry David Thoreau once said, “I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.” Seems simple enough, but last night I saw this lived out in the comment of one of my sons. Both of my sons were adopted from China. Both have special needs and had they been left in China, their life would not have been pretty. God caused both boys to become a part of our family.
I did something last night that I have never done before. My wife and I put up our family Christmas tree BEFORE Thanksgiving. I know it’s a few days before Thanksgiving, but with four kids in the house, the suspense of, “When are we going to put up the Christmas tree????!!!” It becomes too much for any parent to bare. It’s really all about self-preservation for the parents. I mean, lets face it….the kids are out of school for the ENTIRE week of Thanksgiving, it’s supposed to rain on Monday (so they can’t go out and play), and TV commercials are inundated with toy commercials to which my boys follow up every commercial with, “Can you buy me that?!” My wife and I have made a commitment to each other; we will survive this week. Last night, during this ridiculously early activity of putting up the Christmas tree, my youngest son, holding a Christmas ornament looks up at his mother and says, “Christmas is all about being with family, right.” All of a sudden it hit me….my son is thankful for what he is and what he has. He is part of a family and he always will be. See, in China, my son was abandoned and taken to an orphanage. He essentially had no one and had nothing for the first three years of his life. But, last night, as we decorated the tree, something clicked in his mind. Christmas isn’t about getting stuff, but appreciating and being thankful for what you already have. Samuel realized that he is now part of a family, no longer an orphan. He belongs. His old life, the life of an orphan, is gone. As a Christian my old life is gone. I am a Christian and I have eternal life in Christ. I am part of God’s family. I am thankful for this because it’s by God’s grace alone that I am part of His family
Before coming to know Christ, I was an orphan also. Everyone is a spiritual orphan until they come to know Christ. Christ died to not only pay for our sins, but to reestablish our relationship to the Father. This Thanksgiving and Christmas I am certainly thankful for things like food, shelter, health, etc…but more importantly I am thankful to be part of God’s family. Before Christ, I knew nothing of God or his goodness. I was abandoned by sin and without hope. Christ came, died for my sins, rose from the grave, and invites me into His family; the family of the redeemed.
What I am is a child of God, what I have is eternal life in Christ. For this I am thankful.
Please continue to pray for the children of New Mexico. Many of them are growing up and never hearing the Gospel. If they never hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, how will they be able to become part of God’s family? Please pray for Child Evangelism Fellowship as we reach hundreds of children a week with the Gospel. If you would like to know more about Child Evangelism Fellowship of New Mexico or how you could be a part of this ministry, please email me at email@example.com for more information.