A Grateful Heart: Sunday Devotion #24

Psalm 66: 16-20 Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

I love Thanksgiving! I love the idea of a day to stop and reflect on all that one has to be thankful for in this life. I try to remember the great things God has done for me. My heart is grateful that my prayers have been answered in ways that astounded me and convinced me that God sees and hears our prayers.

In late 2003, I found myself laying prone on the floor, in tears, arms outstretched toward Heaven. I prayed to God, “Please, Lord, send me someone who will love me as I am and who loves you and is an active man of God, who will accept our being celibate until marriage, and who has some of the same interests I have, like football, but also other interests that I can share with him.”

I went on a Christian dating site, and my original profile stated that only Black men were acceptable. But as I slept one night, I awoke with a compulsion to change my profile to race doesn’t matter. I got up and made the change.

About ten days later, after the free trial, I received an email that someone had sent me a message and I needed to pay $24.95 to obtain the message. After praying, I paid the fee and opened the message. When I saw he was a white male, I thought that I had lost my money.

But after emailing and instant messaging for weeks, I met him in person, and from the first date, I knew that God had “seen my tears and heard my prayer” (2 Kings 20:5). He agreed on the first date that he, too, wanted celibacy until marriage. Needless to say, we married quickly, after eight months!

Today, we have been married 16 years, and I try to remember to thank God every day for Douglas and our life together. I am still in awe that this amazing man of God saw my picture and felt in his spirit to choose me, and he obeyed the Holy Spirit.

Let us take the time on Thanksgiving Day, even if the holiday looks different due to the coronavirus, to remember how God has answered prayers in the past and give Him thanks and praise. Let us “count our blessings, name them one by one,” as Johnson Oatman, Jr. states in his song, Count Your Blessings. I think we will see that God did hear and paid attention to our prayers and is worthy of our praise.

Happy Thanksgiving Day to all of you! Stay safe, and be well!

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