Today I am grateful. I am grateful because I have grown into believing the thing that I said I believed on February 4, 1986 before I really knew what I was saying. 

I am grateful that there’s evidence so I don’t have to feel like I’m blindly following some made-up guy, or like I just have this imaginary friend that I’ve been talking about and to for more than half my life. 

And yet, I am grateful that he’s so alive in my life that I can look back and know that even if I hadn’t read anything that proved he lived and died and came back to life – yes, I believe someone came back to life – I would still be able to believe it because he has been over the years just that real and true to me. (And to many, many people I know, who aren’t stupid, by the way. Like really smart people – way smarter than me – believe all this.) 

I am grateful that he walked that long road, knowing what was ahead, and he thought of me (and of you) and he said, yes

I am grateful that before he came back to life, he went through hell. For me. He would have done it just for me. He would have done it just for you. 

I am grateful that he makes me better and kinder and gentler and stronger. 

I am grateful that when my life falls apart – and trust me, it has fallen apart a time or two – he puts it and me back together. 

I am grateful that he sees me and hears me and heals me. 

I am grateful that when he looks into my heart, there is just grace. He just has full grace for me. He doesn’t rattle off all I’ve done wrong, he doesn’t look at me the way some of you do. He sees me completely and smiles and says, “She’s mine.” 

But most of all, I am grateful that he loved me enough to go to the cross, and take on my sin, and pay my penalty, and wash me clean. 

I am grateful for that love. Because it’s that love that saved me over twenty-seven years ago, and it’s that love that keeps saving me over and over again every single day.