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Be thankful that God woke you up

By Joseph Perry

“I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord.” Psalm 118:17

I was walking around in a store, looking for a 20-pound turkey for Thanksgiving, when I decided to ask a lady if she had seen any large turkeys in the food section. She said, “You all are getting ready for Thanksgiving Day, aren’t you?” I said, “We sure are, and my girls are coming home also.” She said, “You know, I’m just glad God woke me up. I’m thankful every day.”

When she spoke those words, I felt that was a good place to stop and meditate on a word to share.

Sometimes we take life for granted. Sometimes, we fail to realize that God is the one who gives us this day. Because He gives us each day, we ought to say thank you. We should take time out of our busy day and say, “Lord, I thank you for waking me up to see a new day. Lord, I’m so grateful for another chance to praise You on this side of the river.”

The Psalmist was glad to be alive. He was glad to wake up and be able to share with the world one more time. It’s a privilege and an honor to wake up and start life again. That’s why we need to cherish every moment the Lord gives, because life is short. We are like flowers; we are here today, blooming, but tomorrow we fade away.

When you go through so much in life, when you face the hard knocks, and when the pressures of life weigh in on you, and you’re not sure what’s going to happen next. When your body is aching and your mind has so much to contend with, sometimes when you lay down to rest, you can feel like you’re not going to make it another day.

But God has the last word. He lets us live to declare His work. He lets us live so we can come a little closer and help others to do the same. There is a purpose for us waking up another day. There is a reason God speaks to the Heavens and says, not yet. I’m not going to shift you from there to here, yet.

Decisions are made by God. All we have to do is just live.

  • Be confident in living. Know who you are and who God made you to be each day.
  • Be courageous in living. Know that you don’t have to go through life afraid. Why, because the Lord is ever present.
  • Be calm in living. Know that you can be at peace through each moment of life. Nothing takes place without God giving it permission.

Be thankful in the little things. Be thankful for the breath He gives. Be thankful for life. When I think of His goodness and all that He’s done, my soul cries out, Hallelujah.

In the words of Hezekiah Walker, as he wrote that wonderful song, “I am grateful for the things He has done, yes I’m grateful for each victory won, I could go on and on about Your works, because I’m so grateful just to praise You Lord. Flowing from my heart, are the issues from my heart, of his gratefulness. All I can say is that I’m so grateful for all that my God has done for me.”

Be thankful each day that our Father has awakened you. What will you do with this day?

The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Perry is pastor of St. Mark AME Zion Church. He can be reached at josephp134@gmail.com.