The Last of Five Hundred Thanks

Oh, my Lord,
when I am finished with this prayer, I will have given you five hundred thanks in the past five days, and yet I confess I have not even begun to thank you. You have been so very loving and kind to me, so longsuffering and so gracious, that five hundred times five hundred thanks would not exhaust all that you have done for me.

Thank you for the infinite variety of your Creation,
thank you for hanging stars and planets in space
and painting clouds on the sky.
Thank you for lobsters
and crabs
and dolphins
and whales
and grouper
and crappy
and trout
and worms
and grasshoppers
and butterflies
and cardinals
and red-tailed hawks
and gazelles
and mule deer
and alpacas
and bananas
and savannahs,
and Saharas and so much more.
Thank you for all the varieties of rice,
and various kinds of corn,
and potatoes
and sweet potatoes
and cucumbers
and squash
and cherries
and grapes.
Thank you that I have been privileged to visit the Grand Canyon
and the Sedona
and Mount Zion
and the Sea of Galilee
and Cape Cod
and Mackinac
and Machu Pichu
and Westminster Abbey
and the Smithsonian
and Niagara Falls and so much more.
Thank you that I survived high school!
Thank you that for my college degrees.
Thank you for the School for Officers Training.
Thank you for Dr. Beeners
and Colonel Rader
and Brigadier Ditmer
and so many, many others.
Thank you for considering me faithful, appointing me to your service (1 Tim. 1:12).
Thank you for sending me and Robin to Lancaster.
Thank you for sending us to Cincinnati Temple,
then to National Headquarters,
and then to Youngstown.
Thank you for our year at Bunker Hill Haven,
and for the ten years I spent writing full time.
Thank you for the privilege of partnering with the Holzworths and Lillibridges and others to start Cobblestone.
Thank you for those who were there at the beginning.
Thank you for those who remain to this day.
Thank you for those who have joined that wonderful family along the way.
Thank you for those who will soon enlist in the mission.
Thank you for the many servants who tirelessly keep the ministry going.
Thank you for my awesome fellow staff members.
Thank you for my godly leadership team.
Thank you for the people I’ve had the privilege of teaching in writers’ conferences,
thank you for the friends I’ve made in that ministry,
thank you for the fine people of Nelson/Word,
and Tyndale House,
and Christian Publications,
and Broadman & Holman,
and Howard Books.
Thank you for Dave Bellis,
and Steve Laube, and their help over the years.
Thank you for the many magazines I’ve been blessed to write for.
Thank you for the places I’ve spoken, from Nova Scotia
to Seattle
and points in between.
Thank you for the grace you give me to pray,
and to read my Bible.
Thank you for patiently helping me to become the man you want me to be.
Thank you that I’ve never missed a meal out of poverty,
thank you that I have never broken a bone except the one in my nose,
and thank you that I have so few scars.
Thank you for the things I’ve learned from faithful friends
and from unfaithful friends.
Thank you for the baptisms.
Thank you for the weddings.
Thank you even for the funerals, for it’s a great privilege to grieve with those who grieve.
Thank you that I learned how to read music and play an instrument.
Thank you for all the softball games I’ve played.
Thank you for the many miles of hiking I’ve enjoyed.
Thank you for the Reds’ games I’ve attended,
the Bengals game,
the Redskins’ and Redhawks games,
the circus,
the fairs,
the theatrical productions (especially Les Miserables),
the concerts,
and the many picnics at Brookdale Park with Robin and the kids.
Thank you for giving me my dream woman to marry,
and fulfilling my every hope in her
and in my children
and in their spouses,
and in their children,
in Jesus’ name, amen.

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