No, really, God…. I mean it. I want to thank you for absolutely nothing. That may sound odd—something is usually better than nothing. At the start and end of my life, “nothing” will characterize me. “Having nothing” is the way I arrived into this world—naked and crying about starting my new life outside the protection of my mother’s body. And as you know, dear Lord, it’s the way I’ll finish these years: As dust or ashes. In both cases, nothing is what I was and eventually will be.
What’s there to thank you for right now? All of the not-always-visible nothings that I hope to occur between my starting and my ending in this world:
• I can do nothing to earn your favor. (“Nothing in my hand I bring; simply to thy cross I cling.”)
• There are no blessings that I truly deserve.
• I have no doubts that I am loved by you, unconditionally.
• No unforgiven sins haunt me.
• Nothing has killed me (so far).
• There is nothing I can’t eventually handle.
• No evil in my life will triumph forever.
• I have no reasons for lasting guilt or shame.
• I need no idols—including myself—to get through life.
• Salvation—eventually and always—has cost me nothing.
• There are no needs that you can’t fill.
The more I think about your nothings, Lord, the more I realize that my gratitude can show itself in how I take those nothings and make something of them. I can reshape my priorities towards these nothings, and be ready to share them with those who are not yet ready to admit their nothingness or emptiness. In so doing, I can expand your nothings into glorious somethings that will last me through my years—into fullness of my years!
Again, thanks for nothing…..
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