As I have mentioned before, Thursday is my favorite day of the week. It is Thankful Thursday, and it has been a good one. I started my day by staying up till 2:30 watching the USA women’s soccer team beat France and advance to the World Cup finals (on Chinese TV from my laptop). If you ask me that is a promising start to one’s day. After my good night’s sleep things only got better.
So being that it is Thankful Thursday Lee (or Ge2 as I refer to him because gege is Chinese for older brother) and I pao le jintian xiawu (translation: ran this afternoon). Running is a good way to celebrate Thankful Thursday by thanking God for lungs that breathe, legs that zou de kuai (go fast), sun that shines on you, and the fact that we as Christians are temples of the Holy Spirit! That was a great run. Waged some spiritual war by prayer running instead of prayer walking as we went too.
The climax of my Thankful Thursday was dinner with Lee, another American, and several local believers. Other than being thankful that I have the ability to eat way more than I should since the Chinese are so hospitable and keep feeding you, I am thankful for the chance to encourage them and be encouraged by them.
We worshipped and prayed together in Chinese and in English, which was such a great glimpse, or preview of the throne room in Heaven. What I experienced tonight was only a fractional dose of what John saw in his vision in Revelation 7:9-10.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
The other realization that I had at dinner is that since these believers are my brothers and sisters, my family and comrades in the blood of Jesus, essentially our dinner was communion. The fact is that apart from Jesus none of us would have been in that room together. Lee and I would not be in China, and those Chinese friends probably would not even know each other.
So today I am thankful for so many things. Some are simple and others are more complex, some subtle and some obvious, some spiritual and some physical, and some precious and some taken for granted.
I am thankful that I have one more Thankful Thursday left in China, but at the same time that saddens me. I have only 3 or 4 more days in this city that I have come to really like. While my time left here is short, I am thankful that I have had time here at all. These people are amazing and beautiful and they need the light of Jesus. China, well the whole world, is a dark place but luckily as John 1 points out the Light that is Jesus shines in darkness, and the darkness can’t keep him out.
So I challenge you to list your answer out: What are you truly thankful for today?
Wanan (good night),