This has not been the greatest week to start my “Gratefulness” journal. Seriously. With summer heating up, schedules out of sorts, and my attitude turning sour, keeping a gratefulness journal seemed like a good idea.
But that was before summer started.
Day one went relatively well, and day two went better. Let’s say some self-sufficient satisfaction started to kick in. Day three started with a bang . . . my husband’s back was out of whack. Since I’ve heard him complain once in my life, I was concerned but remained committed to being grateful. A good doctor, an open appointment, ice packs, and an early bed time would do the trick.
Day four rolled around, and life rolled out of control.
The Glass Shattered
People say that a grateful person views the glass as half-full rather than half-empty. Somehow, my glass must have had a hole in it because I was not a happy camper.
My husband’s back became a painful, serious condition, my son Jon got sunburned, my other son Austin had a mirror shatter on his leg, and the dog got sick . . . on the only area rug downstairs. I think I lost my journal on day four, and that glass that was supposed to be half-full . . . that one with the hole in it . . . I trashed it.
Two weeks passed.
I told my husband I wasn’t going to read Philippians—that contentment was way overrated. I wondered why Paul had to let us know he wrote on the subject of contentment from a prison cell of all places.
How the Father Loves Us!
As God usually does, He let me get sick of me. My family had been silent, and in silence some of God’s most profound work is done. I sat outside listening to my iPod, and a quiet hymn began to play. I was overcome with emotions as God revealed the ugliness within my soul. Here I was praying for help and healing, yet I was consumed with complaints about the dusty house, shedding dogs, unwashed dishes, dirty laundry, broken sprinklers, and unpaid bills.
Yet . . .
Me, this wretch His treasure . . . HE LOVES
Yes . . . through great pain of searing loss . . . HE LOVES
Yes . . . that He would give His ONLY Son . . . HE LOVES
Yes . . . who bore the wounds that marred the cross . . . HE LOVES
Yes . . . His dying breath has brought me life . . . because HE LOVES
It’s All about Him
Tears of grief spilled over into the depth of my human condition . . . broken to the bone yet loved without end.
- When will I . . . will we . . . realize this life is not about our messy mistakes and miserable ways; it’s about the Messiah’s love?
- When we deserve an attitude adjustment, He offers abundant grace.
- When we deserve punishment, He offers peace.
- When we deserve death, He offers deliverance again and again and again.
It’s easy to get all bunched up as a caregiver or husband or wife or kid or friend or pastor or father or mother or whatever because we are human. Will you accept that . . . that you are broken? But God LOVES us through our broken lives.
The one thing you cannot live without is His love. It is everything!
Let Me Hear from You
Try one thing: let the irritations of life remind you of God’s love.
In the messes . . . Lord, you still treasure me.
In the dust and dishes . . . Lord, you died for me.
In the woes and worries . . . Lord, you are my peace.
In the storms . . . Lord, you are my strength.
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