On this day after Thanksgiving, I still find myself filled with gratitude for the gift of life, family, friends and the blessings we enjoy and often take for granted. I am reminded of God's love for each of us, a love that allowed His Son, Jesus, to be crucified on a cross for our sin.

In Matthew 10:30-31, Jesus offers a picture of our value to God: "the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So, do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows."

Wow! God's love for us is so profound that He knows the number of hairs on our head! If God knows that about us, think how intimately He knows the depths of our hearts, minds and souls.

The impact of this truth was driven home to me over the last year as I battled cancer. The loss of hair is one of the side effects of chemo, but the reality of seeing my hair in the bottom of the shower was an experience I was not prepared for. The novelty of running my fingers through my hair, ending up with a handful of hair, grew old quickly.

Likewise, using a lint brush to pick up the loose hair on my pillow or the back of a chair became annoying.

I remember coming to that moment when I knew it was time to shave the remaining patches of hair. And I definitely had to take a moment when I looked into the mirror and saw my bald head for the first time.

Yet, as I meditated on Matthew 10:30-31, I was comforted by knowing that God had counted each of those hairs. I did not need to fear. I was of value to God and could depend on His lovingkindness, even as my hair was falling out and my body was battling cancer.

As I completed my chemo treatments and my hair made its comeback, I caught myself looking in the mirror and trying to count the hairs on my head. It's an impossible task. Again, I was reminded of God's profound love for me and for each of us.

Friends and family have commented that my hair isn't quite as dark as it was before chemo. Others have asked if I have considered keeping my head shaved or at least keeping my hair short. I must confess, I'm just thankful to have hair. I have learned, however, that a shaved head or closely cut hair is much easier to care for.

It is wonderful to have options. But for now, winter is coming and I am content to let it grow back.

For Thanksgiving 2018, I am thankful for hair. Looking into a mirror reminds me of God's love and presence in my life.

It reminds me of how precious and fragile life is and that life is not always easy. Life is full of surprises, some good and some terribly life changing. Nonetheless, I need not fear, for God is faithful and His lovingkindness endures through it all.

And you, what do you see when you look into the mirror? I hope you see a person that God loves deeply. So, cast your cares and fears upon Him. He knows the number of hairs on your head and even the number of hairs that are no longer there. And because of this, we can all give thanks.