Monday, December 1, 2014

Giving Thanks

When the accuser comes in the night rehearsing regrets I wonder, "Is this really what it takes to get me on my knees?"  God seems far away, but in the darkness I cry out to Him anyway.  I know Christians are not supposed to despair, but that does not mean we are not honest with God about how we feel.  Yet, truth tells me I have been chosen for a specific purpose and that God has placed me here for a reason.  Faith calls me to believe. 

A song greets the light, 'there may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning', a soothing balm after a fitful night.  And this day, of all days, the anniversary of my mother's death, I look back and remember that the presence of God's Holy Spirit in my life, truly did bring me joy in the mourning.  I can count on it for today because God is faithful beyond my comprehension.

With recent travel and events, I never got a chance to give thanks.  And so I do it now.  I am most grateful for my relationship with God, that He has chosen me to be His own and that His love never fails.  Though there are times I doubt, He remains constant, my sure foundation, my solid rock. This relationship is sacred, precious, and dear to my heart. 

Riches promise hope, but turn up empty.  Making a good impression only fades, for eventually truth reigns.  But oh so refreshing to sink into the arms of my Savior and know that He is the real deal.  He is genuine through and through.  Eternal realities are far greater than any earthly wealth or status.  I am forever grateful for my eternal inheritance in Christ Jesus.   

I am also thankful for my family, my husband and children, and for godly parents who taught me from infancy what a relationship with God can be.  They instilled in me a foundation which nurtured maturity in Christ at a young age and gave me a vision for going deeper.  And we sang.  I love that we sang and prayed together.  I still reap the benefits of those prayers.

I am grateful for my parents-in-law, who just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  What stability their faithfulness provides for each of their children and what joy to know they belong to the family of God.  Their leadership is invaluable.  And as the only daughter-in-law, I am spoiled with a unique relationship that is ours alone.  I am indebted to them for the influence of their lives on my husband, making him the man he is, and most of all, their part in his salvation.  And we reap the blessings of their prayers as well.

I rejoice in God's creation, for His wonders reach deep, never failing to speak to my heart.  Taking every opportunity to awaken my senses to the beauty around me, enfolds me in worship of Him.

I pray that I will see every detail, every work of His hands.  I don't want to miss anything, for it is all too wonderful.  It causes me to broaden my perspective beyond my struggles.

And speaking of struggles, yes, I am grateful for them as well, because they promote growth in my life.  But even more than that, they cause me to realize that God and His Word are not just concepts, theology for philosophical discussion, or material for eloquent songs.  No, the person of Jesus meets me in my everyday life.  He shows me that in my messes, He is the reality at my side.

I can hold onto Him, even for everyday things like losing weight, serving my family, or writing on this blog.  Nothing is too small for Him, nor too big.  His grace is truly enough for every challenge because I'm covered in His blood where I find sweet acceptance.   

Having just returned home from a schedule packed whirl wind trip, my house is strewn with suitcases, sleeping bags, hockey equipment, dirty dishes, laundry, and kitchen items that need put away.  It is overwhelming to say the least, but I can tackle the day because Jesus gives me His joy and strength.  He protects from the accuser and intercedes on my behalf.  He goes before me and behind, both my offense and defense, and I am encouraged.  

The LORD is a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.  
Psalm 3:3 

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