“Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.“ Psalm 106:1
I recently went to Dallas for a wedding, and was excited to go for many reasons. Prior to this, we visited Dallas in March 2021, and I had the opportunity to take my son to see our favorite team‘s stadium. We took the VIP tour and we got to see all the nooks and crannies of the stadium. I had been there before, but this was Nate’s first time. I was excited for him to see all the cool and interesting places in the stadium, and it made me happy to see his face light up. We enjoyed the tour, but there was one more stop on my list.
The tour ended at the team shop, and I was in awe as the store was brimming with Cowboys swag. I met a worker in the store and we started to share with each other our love for the Cowboys. He had to go to lunch, but he told me to wait for him and we could finish where we left off. He came back from lunch and he followed us throughout the store, and we continued getting to know one another. I wanted a Cowboy‘s football but I thought the price was too high, so he offered me his employee discount. He applied his discount to all my items, and I was taken aback by his friendliness. We talked a little more, and he promised to ship a customized item that I did not want to come back to pick up. When Nate and I finally left the team shop, I was truly impressed with the hospitality he showed us.
We received our item shortly after we arrived back at home, and he included his business card with his personal cell phone number. We exchanged texts and I even prayed for him when I learned he lost a close friend of his. Just before our trip this year, I texted him that I would be going to Texas and I looked forward to seeing him again. He never responded to my text, so I thought I would text him again once I was in Dallas. He did not respond to that text either, so I figured our friendship may have run its course. We went to the team shop while we were in Dallas, and I asked one of the workers if he was working that day. The lady paused briefly and told me he had passed away. I was shocked to learn that, as I had corresponded with him just a few months prior. He was in good shape and although he was older than me, he wasn’t old enough that one would expect death was imminent. The worker pointed out a memorial for him that was placed in one of the showcase windows. Neither one of us knew that a short 13 months after we met, I would be looking at his memorial instead of Cowboys merchandise. We know not when our day will come, so I am grateful for the years God has given me.
I celebrate another year, and am thankful to God for the years He has given. There were times in my life when I did not think I would make it to age 30, but God has been gracious to me to bring me into my 40s. I feel in many ways that I have lived a full life and I have experienced things that I only dreamed of. I married my junior high sweetheart which is a story all in itself, and I have been afforded opportunities and experiences that one only dreams of. I remember listening to the Suns on the radio and dreaming I was there, and all these years later, I have been able to shoot baskets on the same hoop as my favorite team. I have seen answers to prayers that seemed impossible, and I have seen God change my life completely. I praise God for His mercy and longsuffering toward me, and I can say even in the trials of life that God is always good.
Are you thankful for the years God has given you or do you complain about the aches and pains and struggles of life? Have you come to realize that every breath and heartbeat is a a gift from God and it comes with great responsibility and purpose? We are advised to number our days, and if God has allowed you to open your eyes today, than He determined there is still purpose for you on this earth. What will you do with the life God has given you? Will you praise Him for His goodness, or will you complain of your current condition? May we praise God while we have breath, and look forward to the day when we will praise Him for all eternity.
Stay in the fight!