Sunday, November 21, 2010


What opening line could I begin my new chapter with? What would set the tone of the story to unfold? Today God clearly penned the first sentence on my heart: Thankfulness. It's too common to lose sight of God during the activities of the day, of the week, to take for granted that some things just happen because they should and to get frustrated or disappointed when things don't happen as (I think) they should. I take the gifts that God has given me and think, perhaps not deliberately but in my heart, that they are expected of Him. Such pride, softly disguised, seeping in, when everything is actually a gift graciously given. Even my very life is a gift sustained by the will of God as long as He chooses.

So I ask myself the question the pastor posed today at church: How much feast does God have to spread for us before we think, "Wow!" ? What has happened to the wonder, to my capacity to be thankful for both the pleasant and the unpleasant, because at the very least, I still have Christ? And I dare say I would never utter that He is not enough; yet that is how I tend to live.

I'm at a point in my story where it calls for the development of a new kind of faith. My "old" faith, the one I lived with up until my Papa died, was real and served me well through many things. But it all but crumbled in the wake of that disaster. It has taken me quite a while to see that my old faith was based on the principle of, "Live as if my dreams must come true and my fears not come near me." After nearly a decade of those dreams not coming true and my fears pounding down my door, I withdrew from God, as if He were suddenly a stranger, no longer safe.

I could write much more on that, and likely will as I go, but for now I will capture what is to be central to the foundation of my new faith. Simply put, if I cannot learn to be thankful for Christ through whatever comes along in the plot of my life, I cannot be thankful for anything. I've said it before, and it is time to remind myself again, that God owes me nothing. It is time for a faith that learns to truly hold my life and everything in it with open hands, an open heart.

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