Say Thanks.

Being a busy and involved college student, I often look past the things around me. I don’t notice the colors of the fall trees and remember how gorgeous they are in the change, and how beautiful green will look in a few months. I don’t recognize how wonderful it is to feel the light and heat of the sun and to smell the salt in the air as I drive nearer to my home. I forget how much I love the smell of my house. I forget those places in my hometown (those that are easy to think about, and those that are more difficult), forgetting that those are the sights in which God let me learn something. I complain when I have to eat in the caf, and forget how blessed I am to have food in my belly (even if it is pizza 7 meals in a row). I get a headache and think it’s the end of the world, ignoring the fact that I am not in a hospital bed. There are days when I drag my feet, and I take for granted how easily I can move around. I waste my time writing songs for people to like me- and I forget that there are people in my life who love me, even when it’s hard to like me. I get impatient when the baby 3 rows ahead of me on the plane begins to cry, and fail to realize how wonderful that baby must be for those parents. I feel unimportant because I don’t have a car but forget that I have legs and an able body that can take me anywhere I want to go. I get jealous of my brother because he is so good at so many things and I feel like maybe I should be more like him, then I remember God made Jordan the way Jordan was supposed to be (short, quirky, and kinda tan, I guess). I get frustrated because I don’t understand why my loved ones’ relationships are strained, and I neglect the fact that they haven’t given up. There are often days when I think people are crazy and I should just give up on them; forgetting that it’s a miracle they haven’t given up on me. I make excuses and point the finger of blame on someone else forgetting that I am blessed to even be where I am. Some days I feel so lonely and so beaten-down; and I forget that there is a God who has already beaten down the world for me. I count my worth on the people that laugh at my jokes and smile when I sing- forgetting that my worth is only found in the One who created me. Some nights my pillow just isn’t soft enough for me to be happy, because my selfishness keeps me from remembering that I have a cushion to rest my head on when others have nothing but the cold hard ground (although, I would pay a little extra room and board for a water bed). There are times when I can’t believe that all of the washing machines and dryers are taken in Benson, neglecting to realize how simple and beautiful it is to have clothes that are fresh and smell good. I complain about having so much homework, so many papers to write, so much to keep up with. I lose sight of the fact that it is nothing short of a blessing to be here at Trevecca, getting to learn in this environment. Many times my eyes are glued to my phone, notebooks, laptop, textbooks, etc. and I don’t stop to look up at the sky and see how beautiful an artist God really is. The sound of the cricket gets on my nerves but I fail to notice that this sound means it is nighttime and my body can rest. There are even times when the night is so dark that I am a little uneasy; and it is in those moments when I realize how beautiful the light will be.
My life is not like the dark night right now. My life is amazing. God has provided my every need. And when you go to bed with a full stomach, it is easy to forget how it feels to need a meal. When there is water all around you, it is easy to forget how it feels to be in need of a drink. When there is a soft bed, a pillow, and a trillion-thread-count sheet keeping you warm in the night, it is easy to feel safe. It is easy to forget how needy we actually are. It is easy to forget how weak we actually are.
I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. But before I say thank you, I want to apologize. God, I’m sorry for failing to recognize how You have loved and cared for me. I’m sorry for doubting You and not trusting You. I’m sorry for making excuses. i’m sorry for being weak; I promise I try to be strong. But today, I remember. I remember the works of Your hands, the power in Your words, and the strength of Your love. I remember that You haves saved me out of darkness. Even when I turn my back, You wait. Lord, thank You for being patient with me. Thank You for second chances and thousandth chances. Thank You for light. Thank You for giving me Your strength to overcome things I can’t beat on my own. Thank You for being strong for my family. Thank You for the healing You give to hearts, relationships, and bodies. Thank You for the people around me who won’t let go, even when my grip loosens. Thank You for mercy; I don’t deserve to even be on Your mind, yet You continue to rescue me. You put people in my life at the exactly right time in the exactly right place to guide me on the way back to You. Thank You for being stronger than my excuses, the dark, and the grave. Forgive me when I fail to thank You. The glory is Yours, all Yours. The honor is Yours, all Yours.The power is Yours, all Yours.
Don’t forget all the reasons you have to be thankful. There are thousands. I dare you to try and find them all. You won’t be able to stop yourself from praising God. And He so deserves it. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May it be more than eating turkey and watching football; may it be a glorious return to the first Love who saved us, even before we knew we were lost.

6 Comments

  1. Brad Guthrie says:

    I’m SO thankful for so many of the things you’ve mentioned . . . and for YOU! Thanks for the challenge. – Dad

  2. Vera Pendergraft says:

    First of all, I am so glad I read this. You are awesome Jordan and I am so glad we are such good friends. I am thankful for you and your family who have always been good to me. I praise God for friends who have the courage to be so vulnerable and who so openly praise Him with such passion. I love you Jordan!!

    Vera

  3. Kathy Hodge says:

    Jordan thank you. You made my heart cry out to the Lord in gratitude. It is so easy for us to rest in his bounty and fail to acknowledge his grace. Thank you for reminding me to have an attitude of gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Marilyn says:

    Thank you, Jordan, for writing this. It is awesome, as you are awesome!
    I am very proud of you, my boyfriend since you were about 14. You have always been so nice to an old lady! What a mighty God we serve!!

  5. Taylor Hodge says:

    Wow Jordan! So cool to hear your heart and honesty. I can really relate to your thoughts.

  6. Katie Duckhorn says:

    This is seriously beautiful. Thanks for that challenge! It really is easy to forget what I’m blessed with.

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