The sunsets are so beautiful these recent Fall days. Brilliant, shocking color. "Are you seeing this?!" I text a friend and ask my daughter. I don't want them to miss God's glory, God's moment, His right now gift. The heavens declare His glory.
And so do these trials.
Could it be that The Spirit's hand is at work, giving wisdom, comfort, character, enduring love - in the sunsets and the struggles alike? Oh yes, and if I'll open my hands to Him, I'll see it too. All this loveliness, all these gifts. I won't be able to contain my thanks. It will be my persuaded response. Faith.
Here are a few of the gifts I've written down and thanked Him for recently. I welcome you to add your own below in the comments portion also. Because He is worthy of our gratitude. Every day, every breath.
- a text photo of my happy brother - joy apparent in his eyes
- This book on my Kindle - an amazingly encouraging read
- "Stay at the Source, closely guarding your relationship with Him, and there will be a steady flow into the lives of others whit no dryness or deadness whatsoever ... Yet some of us are like the Dead Sea, always receiving, but never giving because our relationship is not right with the Lord Jesus. ... If you find that His life is not springing up as it should, you are to blame - something is obstructing the flow." - Oswald Chambers
- plenty of beds and blankets
- a good laugh after a rough day with my MIL over text
- "I can remember my fears, and doubts, and sad months with comfort; they are as the head of Goliath in my hand." - John Bunyan (autobiography)
- inspiration to follow You through anything, like the 11 who were left with You at the Last Supper, and the women who went with You to the Hill
- Gail M, her wise words, her sense of humor, and the funny way she talks to herself
- the way You put people in my life whom I can trust, and speak through them the words I could only receive from someone I know loves me
- these verses, and Your amazing confirmation of righteous love-law
- enough food - provision for the month
- pretty paper and ribbon turned into new gratitude journals for C's small group
- for my health, not taken for granted, or anything I'm entitled to. It's a gift, not a right, to be healthy and have health care.
- instruction from Your Word to pray for rebellious sinners who dishonor You and Your anointed leaders, not to rebuke them (though that would be my instinct). Your promise to give them life if I will just pray. And that You forgive me and give me life when I repent of my rebellion also.
- J's bold prayer at See You at the Pole, even among the older students
- hard eucharisteo of bearing a friend's burden - broken marriage, broken heart, weary strength to keep holding onto You. Hope of restoration
- time to write letters and cards to relatives and friends
- "Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart." - Psalm 119:111
- endless oil for my lamp, available in Your presence if I'll only come
- baby D, his sweet smile and easy demeanor - the joy of him in the swing while C and I meet
- open doors at a hellhole - sharing Your Gospel with those who don't know You yet. A slow night there, so we could sit in a circle and share our lives and faith journeys - a Life Group in the middle of the devil's camp. You amaze me.
- for giving my Guy the privilege of leading two men to profess their faith in You this week. New souls in your forever kingdom, and Your promise kept to give us an inheritance of souls.
- this song, and the way worshiping You in song can change my heart and mold me to be more like Your Son. Less like my sin
Oh, Lord - You are so worthy of our gratitude. I praise You today with my acknowledgment of all these gifts, of which I am not worthy, to which I am not entitled. Thank You for every day giving to me. Your never-ending blessings never cease to amaze me. Help me to keep these hands open. To the happy, the sad, the easy, and the difficult. I know You only give me good - that which You are working for good in me. I do trust You, Spirit. I do believe. Help my unbelief with the demonstration of your goodness in all these gifts.