My Circle

My Circle
thechijiokelife

Monday, February 11, 2013

give thanks!

I sit here in this bright and beautiful room, overlooking pristine, blue water and the green covered mountains of Jamaica – I am away on my “sanity and solitude” trip and I am reading “1000 Gifts”, given to me by a dear friend who continues to allow the Lord to use her as a vessel of glory. Listening to the stirring melodies of Enya and learning… learning answers to the questions which have plagued me, haunted me.
I am thankful – but I didn’t know why – why it is so very important, I just know that I am and I am thankful that You have caused me to SEE, to KNOW and to BE thankful.

The gentle list of the huge boat that I call home for 5 nights – filled to the brim with people who are grasping frantically for happiness, to be found in an experience, an entertainment… a swirling drink, another plate of food and a willing dance partner… how is this joy? I sit here surrounded by them and I know it is NOT. I am sad, because I do not know why I KNOW this truth and they do not. Yet, I do know… I am made to know the truth. And I am thankful. “How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You… to dwell in Your courts. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple…” Psalm 65:4

Why did I know to give thanks – as I stood upon a dirt covered bank, in the hills of Tennessee, staring at the constant rippling of waves, anguishing to see a glimpse of my beloved – aware that I was standing on holy ground… in the Presence… as my dear husband was ushered home to glory…trembling as I pushed away the thought of what the future may hold, of our 5 children - babies - who needed their daddy… why did I know to give thanks?

The words came almost unbidden, burning from an inner part of my soul, “…the Lord gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord, shall I accept only good from the Lord? I will bless Your name, oh Lord, bless the Lord, oh my soul… and all that is within me bless His Holy Name…” even as I heard my heart rending into pieces as a part of me was torn from this life… I was held in a cocoon as I stood, heart pounding with grief, unbelieving eyes watching in vain for the bobbing head of my strong husband as he fought his way to the surface… but he did not appear of his own strength. His tall, lithe, empty frame was dragged from the surging ripples by men in wetsuits and harnessed to pull lines against the swift and steady current…which had held him captive beneath the rocks… beneath the dark water…
I stood there and my broken heart wept a thanksgiving, to my God. Why? Because I knew – I know – that He was my only chance for surviving this, and I KNOW that He is GOOD. He has CHOSEN me to know, He has chosen to draw me to Him and show me the greatness of His love… He has caused me to come near to Him. He has shown me and offered me a choice – choosing today which path I will take, life or death, I will choose life, I will choose thankfulness, I will choose joy.

Grace – I have spoken much of this word… Grace is God’s “favor”, His UNMERITED FAVOR, poured out on my life - - not only so I can “get through the hard times”.
Favor speaks of “being special”, “set apart”, “given special treatment” – I believe this is what God has done for me, for us, as we traverse this journey of pain and joy - intertwining inexplicably.
God has poured His favor upon me, and my children, He has poured out blessing upon us… even as we stumble along, wiping tears away as we give thanks.

I have searched for a word, a phrase, which encapsulates this experience – a way of stating my view of life, of our pain – and today as I read this simple, inextricable book, it is this - Eucharisteo – giving of thanks, being full of grace and joy in this. This is my “one word summary” of life, eucharisteo. Shall we not accept all things from His hands? Give thanks.

To not give thanks is to say that I know better, better than God, the ONE who created all things. Who is not held by the constraints of time, emotion, limitations… how can I even speak? As Job said, “…I place my hand over my mouth…”

The warm winds blow these giant, puffy clouds across my expanse of blue sky, across those green topped mountains… gentle, soothing strains of music drift gently on the breeze and I sit in quietness, in solitude, for which I am grateful and thankful.
I chuckle as I look at the pile of white tissues next to me, the cough drops – to be sick while on vacation, is not my ideal, but the Lord is using these times for good anyway! I type away on my computer, I look over at the seat next to me, the pen, open book, the purple covered kindle…I crave a notebook on which to write with ink, I have a good pen from which words sail off easily - - of all things I have forgotten a spiral bound – so I type and type, wishing for the smooth fibers of paper gliding beneath my hand as I write, propped up on one knee, glancing occasionally over the rail at the blueness of the water stretching before me - - and I am thankful!

I have been searching for the meaning to this life - - in the next, in eternity, we who are of the Vine, will be in all glorious perfection. So why – why – are we here? Imperfect… struggling… trying and failing so many times it almost seems pointless… I am somewhat envious of Cj and the knowledge that he is done with this heaviness, this weight of struggling each day to live with purpose; to obey. What am I to do with this blip of time given me to traverse this sad orb of human suffering, sorrow and God’s glorious redemptive work? For now, it is to be thankful, to live in eucharisteo, as I traverse the days, moments given to me… I pray the Holy Spirit will not let me forget these important lessons learned as I yearn for more, more of what makes life worth living. “…press on towards the goal of the upward call in Christ Jesus our Lord…”

2 comments:

  1. Lovely post. I just finished !000 Gifts and hated for it to end. The book is underlined with bits and pieces that resonated with me heart and soul. I just became a widow in December after 43 years of marriage to my best friend and this is the hardest thing I've ever gone through. I am thankful to God though for his ever loving kindness in taking care of me in all areas of my life.

    May you and your family continue to feel God's love, peace and strength surrounding you and uplifting you at all times.

    FlowerLady Lorraine

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  2. Thanks for your sweet words, FlowerLady (:
    I'm so sorry for your loss... praying for you!

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