December Thanks #01: Family


What a word. What a thought behind the word. What a delight in the thought behind the word.

The more I consider the word, the more I appreciate it as a relational thing. Someone blesses me – that says something about the person and their connection to me. Being blessed is no even so much about the thing with which you are blessed as to the benefit it can have on other relationships.

So the first area of thanks I consider, is for the blessing of family. I recognise that I am extremely blessed to have loving earthly parents who are still alive. I have siblings that grew up with me and with whom I have a deep bond that is significantly meaningful and informs me to this day.

I am blessed in being a husband. That for me means being connected to a woman who devotes her life for my betterment. Sacrificially, wholeheartedly and compassionately, she does a great job at being a helpmate. She’s a friend and a companion and more. She is with me on the journey of life and for that I am hugely thankful.

God has then seen it fit in His wisdom to give us three daughters as well as my privilege of knowing her son. These children are incredible. Their different personalities, their love, their hearts and the deep link we have with each other that means there’s an unspoken understanding. The household is warmer and richer for their presence and such is their character that they also bring with them their friends who soon become fixtures in the home too much to our delight and joy.

Just when I thought the family thing couldn’t get any better, then God surrounds us with church family. At varying stages of closeness there are brothers and sisters in Christ who really are siblings. We really are family not just in a nominal sense. We share life together, we get deep, we get personal, we share laughs, we share meals, we share tears, we are free to be as real as we can and when that gets bare-bones transparent and vulnerable there is such a palpable sense of the richness of the grace of God among us.

Which neatly leads into the greatest family connection. The heavenly Father through the love of His Son and the power of His Spirit would choose to call me His own. That’s more than awesome. That’s more than brilliant. That’s more than words can convey. Material substance and financial wealth may not be something in which I physically roll in at present, but to know that I am blessed with every spiritual blessing because I am connected to the Father through the Son by the Spirit is something I value to a much greater degree.

My ongoing desire is for these blessings to be valued and cherished and used to invite others into this relationship with the loving, gracious, compassionate and forgiving Father. A Father who reminds me that every day there is something to be thankful for.

For His Name’s Sake


C. L. J. Dryden

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