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4.14.2013

one thousand gifts // chapter five.

if you're just joining us on this book club adventure, welcome! beth and i are on a journey to learn and be reminded of what it is to live a life full of joy and gratitude. we'd love for you to come along!



grace.
receiving something you don't deserve.

the verse that kept coming to my mind while reading this chapter was 2 corinthians 12:9.


"but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. therefore i will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."

i think we tend to look at grace in only one light. that grace is only present in our lives when we are saved from something terrible, from suffering, from tragedy. but what about when a mother loses a child, when your home is destroyed by a fire, when you don't get the job you so desperately needed, or when you receive the news that you or a loved one has cancer. where is grace then? God's grace couldn't possibly be there then, right? wrong. God's grace is there when he gives and His grace is there when He takes away. that is tough for us to swallow. we want to believe that a good God wouldn't let bad things happen.

"all God makes is good. can it be that, that which seems to oppose the will of God actually is used of Him to accomplish the will of God? that which seems evil only seems so because of perspective, the way the eyes see the shadows.  above the clouds, light never stops shining."
-page 88-

so we have to change our perspective. we have to change how we see. and we do that by filling our hearts with the truth and light of God's word. 

“the eye is the lamp of the body. so, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. if then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!"
matthew 6: 22-23

friends, don't let the world warp your view of our Lord and of His grace. He is always faithful. always. all is grace.

it was God's grace that nailed His son to the cross to die for us. He gave up His most precious son's life, allowed him to suffer the worst pain, for us. He loved us even while we were His enemy…before we ever knew Him. so remember in the dark moments, the painful and heartbreaking moments, the  moments when you feel like you've been left behind, that you have a High Priest who intimately knows what you are going through and His grace will carry you.

"the Word has nail-scarred hands that cup our face close, wipe away the tears running down, has eyes to look deep into our brimming ache, and whisper, 'I know. I know.' the passion on the page is a Person, and the lens i wear of the Word is not abstract idea but the eyes of the God-Man who came and knows the pain."
-page 87-

reading this chapter forced me to look back on my past twenty-four years to see the trail of grace that has been there all along, even when i couldn't see it. i read once that gratitude looks back to grace received in the past and feels full of thanks. faith looks forward to grace promised in the future and feels hopeful. the journey of learning eucharisteo is not easy. we have to learn the hard discipline of giving thanks for all things at all times because God is all good. -page 100-

one thousand gifts. the whole list.
78. beautiful testimonies shining through difficult circumstances
79. cherry blossoms
80. melodies & harmonies
81. sweet blogger friends
82. gifts and cards from friends "just because"
83. work errands with coworkers
84. mountain peaks
85. group text messages
86. a whole weekend with best friends
87. inside jokes
88. refreshing afternoons at the park
89. real and open conversations about life
90. encouraging words for my heart to hear
91. safe travels
92. a grace-filled life

through many dangers, toils and snares i have already come. tis grace has brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.


2 comments:

Elizabeth Mayberry said...

:) beautiful. thank you.

Amy said...

::sigh:: yes. I was just reading "My Utmost for His Highest" on saturday and the scripture was Psalm 55:22 "Cast your burden on the Lord..."
It reminds me of grace...God's grace allows me to offer my burdens back to Him, to lighten my load so i am not overwhelmed to be YOKED with Christ and not only receive His grace, but offer it....
amen Megan, amen!