This morning, I woke up at 5:55 a.m. It's getting to be a thing. For the past several months, God shakes me awake at precisely 5:55 a.m.
The first time it happened, I didn't think anything of it. I got up, went into the kitchen, fixed a cup of cappuccino and began my devotional time. The second time, I thought it odd that I was awake at exactly 5:55 a.m om the nose. But subsequently, I've come to realize, God has picked this very specific time for me.
In Gematria, the number 5 symbolizes creation, as in God's creation of man. Gematria is the study of numbers and their significance as they are used in the Bible. The number 555 in Jewish Gematria equals the word "today." Each letter has it's own number. t=100 o=50 d=4 a=1 y=400. Add them all up and you get 555. So, I guess maybe the Lord wants me to wake up at the specific time to remember He is the almighty creator and He created me and He wants my undivided attention today (and every day at 5:55 a.m.) Whew! Didn't mean to focus on all that, but hey...you learn something new every day, right?
It doesn't matter what time the Lord wakes me to spend time with Him. I'm honored to do so. And this morning, He took me to Psalm 100 - the hymn all about giving thanks. How appropriate! Today is Thanksgiving!!!
Yesterday, I spent most of the day preparing food for today's meal. As I worked, I thought about all of God's provision for our family over the years. He has been so good to us. His faithfulness has remained constant and I know it will continue because He's promised that to those who love Him.
I also thought about family members who've gone on to be with the Lord. My mother, my father, my grandparents, my in-laws, so many aunts, uncles, and cousins. I thought about their lives and how thankful I was to have known each of them.
As I wrapped up my cooking, I began praying for several friends and family members who're facing their own battle with cancer right now. As I prayed, I gave thanks for each one of them and asked God to meet their specific needs for upcoming tests, for comfort, for peace, for healing.
I didn't realize it until I heard my own voice, but at some point, I'd begun speaking out loud, as if another person was in the room with me. As I've gotten older, I find I do this more and more. God and I have some real time conversations and I treat those as if I'm talking with my very best friend. I think that makes God smile. And it helps me feel less alone during the day.
Jesus is our constant companion. 2 Timothy 4:17 says, "For the Lord stood with me and gave me strength." His Holy Spirit never leaves us and we know, He considers us His friends because John 15:14-15 says, "You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."
As I wrapped up my time of prayer with him and put the last piece of Saran wrap over the food I'd prepared, I thanked God for my life. Six and a half years ago, I wasn't so sure I'd be here.
The day I received my cancer diagnosis, I also felt like I'd been handed a death sentence. I think a lot of people feel the same way. In talking with many of my friends and those I've met online through cancer support sites, that reaction is common.
In all reality, every day should be a day of Thanksgiving for the person with cancer, but also for the one without cancer.
We should always acknowledge our gratitude toward Christ for all He's given us, for all He's done for us, and for all His many blessings.
As I gather with family today, to offer up thanks to my Heavenly Father, I hope I'll remember to thank Him tomorrow with as much gusto as I will today.
I love the way Psalm 100 tells us to give praise to the Lord:
"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."
I highlighted the verbs to remind myself of my responsibility in thanksgiving.
I pray you and your family will have a wonderful time of celebration. May ever day be a day we offer the gift of thanksgiving back to our Father, for He deserves our praise.