Being Thankful

There was once a rich man who asked Jesus, “What must I do to have eternal life?” And Jesus told him to follow the commandments. The man told Jeus that he had obeyed all of them from the time he was a young child. And Jesus loved this man and told him that he lacked only one thing, “Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” And when the rich man heard this he became very sad and went away because he had many possessions. (paraphrased from Mark 10: 17-22)

I have been really struck by these words. I couldn’t help but think how many times I have been like this rich young man and God has asked me, called me to follow him and I have not gone because I had many possessions. I can no longer be like this man. I can no longer allow my life to be dictated and ruled by stuff. As I went through this week I have been more aware of my spending, and I must say that there were times when I wanted something but did not need it and so did not purchase it. And then I began to think about all that I have and don’t have and I realized that I was filling my life with stuff in order to avoid dealing with some of the issues that God has gently been bringing to my attention.

I was on my way home from work one day earlier this week and heard a song by Jars of Clay called “Love song for a Savior” and it really hit a nerve. I thank God for all the stuff in my life but how often do I stop and take a look around at his creation and thank him with genuine gratitude for the beauty that he has given us? How often do I thank God at all? Or do I just ask (and sometimes demand, expect) things from God. I began to realize that my focus had become so myopic that I couldn’t see past the nose on my face. I was sad. And then I began to sing out the words to that song, quite loudly in my car, and the peace of God just washed over me. He is so merciful to come to us when we need him most and don’t even know it.

So I have tried to focus my prayers on thanking Jesus for the daisies and the roses in my life – the simple things.

How often we worry about things Jesus has assured us we need not worry about (Luke 12:22-34).  How many times have those worries prevented us from answering the call?

When I began to consider what to write about in my blog, I tried to think of something that would be a neutral topic. Something that could not offend others. But it seems to me that I am meant to offend, in the same way as Jesus offends. It is who I am. His spirit dwells within me and so I cannot but help to offend some. Why is it that Jesus is offensive to some? I don’t really understand it. Perhaps it is because he draws a line in the sand and says this is it. This is truth, this is how you find God and eternal life. This is where you find life and peace. And perhaps people don’t like that; they don’t like the line? And people either run toward him or fastly recoil from it because it requires something of them – faith. Faith that his word is true. That he loves them unabashedly, with passion and mercy – completely, unconditionally and with out the need for me to do anything to earn it. Perhaps that is the problem? We feel so undeserving (or for some, so egotistic) that we are in need of feeling as if we have to do something; as if we don’t need anyone, anything, or any god to help us in this life?

Lord knows if I had recoiled from him I would have died a long time ago. God is teaching me so much as he holds me in his hands. He is showing me how to find peace in my life, to let go of the past and move toward a future he has planned out for me. A future full of so much more than I could ever have asked for or imagined.

There is a hope and and love that is beginning to well up inside of me that for so long has been locked away. My daisies and roses are hope, peace, compassion. The sun rising, the sun setting, the moon and the stars, the people in my life that love me. My dog. My health…etc.

“Love Song For A Savior” by Jars of Clay

In open fields of wild flowers,
she breathes the air and flies away
She thanks her Jesus for the daises and the roses
in no simple language
Someday she’ll understand the meaning of it all
He’s more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
As close a heartbeat or a song on her lips
Someday she’ll trust Him and learn how to see Him
Someday He’ll call her and she will come running
and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and she’ll pray,

“I want to fall in love with You”

Sitting silent wearing Sunday best
The sermon echoes through the walls
A great salvation through it calls to the people
who stare into nowhere, and can’t feel the chains on their souls

He’s more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
As close a heartbeat or a song on our lips
Someday we’ll trust Him and learn how to see Him
Someday He’ll call us and we will come running
and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and we’ll pray,

“I want to fall in love with You”

It seems too easy to call you “Savior”,
Not close enough to call you “God”
So as I sit and think of words I can mention
to show my devotion

“I want to fall in love with You”

“my heart beats for You”

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