Monday, November 21, 2011

All My Gratitude

Thankfulness. Receiving willingly; opening up to let in....everything. Because life comes with good, bad, and plain ugly. Times when everything is so precious and perfect you just wish you could wrap yourself up in that moment and never ever ever be unwrapped. Times when it seems one thing after the next comes to attack you in battle after battle. Times when split seconds can ruin your entire life... never again to be made whole or reconciled.
Gratefulness. So close to heaven I can almost feel the pearly gates within my grasp. Thank You, God, for everything. For pain, for pressure, for temptations to help make me stronger, as well as for love and family and a place to sleep at night. But it's the fact - the knowing - that everything is in His hands, and He is in control: the wisdom of His words, "from the Father of lights". Every darkness, every difficulty comes with an opportunity to become closer to the One who can sustain me. A forcing of either my trust in him to deepen, or my anger towards Him to drive me far away. I find so much conviction in one thing that I'm thankful for!
God stills my mind - He's all around me. And I have found that the best way to get to know Him is to thank Him for everything - literally.
"God, thank You for letting my coffee spill on this white carpet today." Seriously!
"Thank You, Lord God, that my sister will not leave me alone right now while I'm trying to be alone and cry into my pillow."
"Thank You, Father, that my Dad has MS. I don't know why he has MS, but I know that You are a good God, and You will make what is now horrible and depressing at times, to someday be beautiful and joyful and whole. It will make sense someday - perfect, complete sense. For our good and Your glory."
"Thank You, Jesus, for this trial of me being in pain all the time."
"Thank You, God, for bringing me out of the fearful state I have been in all my life, trying to make myself strong by never crying and not letting anyone in."
"Lord, thank You for every person in my life who has hurt me and showed me that it is possible to love, even when someone is so poisoned by bitterness."

This is fullness. When He moves among us, all that He does. All of His mercy... all of His love. If the pen of a writer could write every day, even this world could never contain how I've been blessed. How much I've been given.

If I allow myself to get angry because of trials and being hurt, it helps no one. It doesn't justify me, or work in my life to make me strong, or show me how to help some one else, or make me a better person. It doesn't benefit me or shelter me. Anger can harm others, especially the one harboring it. Anger changes my natural affection and deceives me into believing that my angry heart is justified by all the hurt I've been through. I can love someone, and still hurt them on purpose in my anger. Having an intense desire to control how my life goes, and the lives of those around me... all to protect myself from being hurt yet once again. The fear of being hurt is now a god to me. An idol. I am a fearful, angry little pagan girl and I worship and yearn for the place of control. But no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to hold that in my hands. To see Christ's love and know that He made time for me, He lived for me and died for me, suffered for me and rose from the dead for me... He is coming back for me, and He prays for me, sweet Intercessor.

Besides, I can't control my life when anger controls my spirit. (Proverbs 25:28)
The battle of my life is already lost when I choose a bitter spirit over a better spirit. It is oppression, and there's a devil clawing into my skull with poison in each fingertip, altering the purity and simplicity that Christ wants to perfect in me. And in you. And there is a way out...

Thank God for everything. You don't know the mind of God. His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are His ways our ways. But when all hope is gone and there's nothing left to do, and when there seems to be no way through, He is there. And He is enough.

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye. And above all these things [put on] charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Colossians 3:12-15

We can choose to be bitter or better. To survive, or thrive. I used to survive. But now... "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice." Philippians 4:4

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