I sat here tonight and wondered how to narrow and compress into a few short paragraphs the many things for which I am thankful. How do I distill all the richness of my life into such a short space?
I didn’t even know where to begin. So, I just started with the immediate: what I was thankful for within the sphere of where I sat. And as always when you are thankful for three things you find gratitude for thirty.
Tonight I am thankful for dinners prepared together. For warm blankets and chocolate chip cookies from the oven. For light falling across floors and the hum of the furnace. For the tick of the clock and the spin of the washing machine. For the muffled snores of a dog long old. For the turning of thin book pages and the power of reading glasses. For the phone ringing and familiar voices speaking.
Tonight I am thankful for friends. Honest, real friends. People we do life with. People who share life with us—the good, the bad and the ugly.
I am so thankful for these people who know our weaknesses and do not exploit them. People who know our strengths and do not abuse them. People who help keep the edges of us sharp. People who help us maintain a keen awareness of what the Spirit is speaking. They sharpen swords with us, not against us. They are people who care about the integrity and character of us. These friends stick closer than a brother. They hurt with us. Cry with us. But most of all they rejoice with us. You see, it’s not quite as difficult to grieve with those who are hurting as it is to rejoice with those who are prospering.
I am thankful for the sharpness of our lives. This sharpness is directly related to the people who do life with us.
People in our lives who are iron.
Father, tonight I thank you for the strength of the iron in my life. Thank you for all the couples who sit in each other’s living rooms and kitchens and sharpen each other. Thank you for these friends who have loved us through hard places, tight places, dangerous places and abundant places. Thank you for the iron in them that sharpens the iron in us. Thank you, Father. Thank you. Amen.