Today, on this Thanksgiving, I find myself exceedingly grateful for Jesus. I’ve walked with him for over 30 years, and when I look back on the many years I can see that everything the bible says about Him is true.

Jesus is the Rock of salvation that is both firm beneath my feet (Psalm 62), and also higher than I when my heart is overwhelmed (Psalm 61:2). His name is a strong tower that I have run to and have been saved (Proverbs 18:10). He is the lifter of my head (Psalm 3:3) who brought me out of the mire and out of the pit of despair (Psalm 40). He brought my soul out from Sheol (Psalm 30:3). He is near every time I am broken hearted, and He has saved me every time my spirit was contrite. His eye has been on me, and His ear has been open to my cry (Psalm 34). He hears my prayers (Psalm 5) and I have seen them answered time and again (James 5:16).

Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), who has given me peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:6). He is the Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6) who led me out of darkness and into marvelous light (I Peter 2:9). He is the Good Shepherd who has made me to lie down in green pasture, near still waters. He has walked with me through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23). There is nowhere I have gone where His presence was not found, nowhere I have run where I could flee His spirit (Psalm 139:7-12). When I was angry and did not understand Him, He responded with gentleness. When I ran He was waiting with love. When I turned back to Him, He ran to me with open arms (Luke 15:11-32).

Jesus has never left me nor forsaken me (Deuteronomy 31:8). There were some years where it felt like He was the only one who didn’t. There were some years where His Word was the only one I could trust. I would have perished if it had not been for His Word (Psalm 119:92). His Father is my everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6), Jesus Himself sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He promised to send a Helper, Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17), and kept that promise. He really is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8).

Jesus has forgiven every one of my sins, and removed them away from me as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). He has made my heart as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18), His love covers over every mistake and scar (1 Peter 4:8). In His eyes I am lovely (Song of Solomon 1:5). He has given me His spirit and brought me into His adoption (Romans 8:15). He did not leave me an orphan (John 14:18).

Because of Jesus, I have experience healing in my body, mind, and emotions. In Him my mind, in fact, has been renewed (Romans 12:2). He is my Hope (Romans 5:1-2), my Joy that is complete (John 15:11). He has put a new song in my mouth (Psalm 40:3), while all along waiting in the silence (1 Kings 19:12-13).

There is no one more beautiful or more fascinating than Jesus. No one as kind as Jesus. Even when the mercies have been severe, when I remember them I weep for the kindness within the severity. He has worked all things for good (Romans 8:28). I say that because everything that is good in my life is from Him.

So I am thankful, because Jesus is my Beloved, my Friend (Song of Solomon 5:16).

-Etta Woods