Saturday, May 4, 2013

Five Things I'm Thankful For Friday

A few of the things I'm thankful for this week are:

1.  The Weather.  It's been overcast and even a little rainy (which is rare for this region) which has made getting around town and being outside an utter delight.  Shockingly, I've heard English friends complaining about it (it's too much like back home for them), but the alternative is a blazing hot sun accompanied by humidity.  I'll take the the clouds any day.

2.  The Psalms.  We've been studying a new Psalm each week in our small group in preparation for the week's sermon at church.  This week we studied Psalm 73 which deals with being envious of those around us who seem to prosper in spite of wickedness, or perhaps even because of it.  Asaph, the writer of the Psalm, is frustrated by these

3.  The Journey.  It sounds a bit cliche to say, but I'm increasingly thinking of life in terms of walking down a path in a particular direction.  Sometimes I get off the path, or make the wrong turn, or even just stop dead in my tracks, but always I return, or rather, God graciously brings me back.  The Bible often refers to our journey through life as a matter of choosing a path.  (Proverbs 4:14-15 says "Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil.  Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on."). What's neat is that I'm at a stage in my life where I can look and reflect upon where I've come from.  I can see how God has been working in my life and how he continues to work.

4.  New Revelations.  My favorite verse in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 12:9.  'My grace is sufficient is for you...' was a verse that spoke to me when I was trying really hard to please God so that I could earn His love.  I thought I needed to be perfect- always praying, living an exemplary life, devotedly reading my Bible, and so and on, but that striving left me feeling exhausted (not to mention filled with an abominable self-righteousness) and, in spite of it all, I felt hopelessly distant from God.  God spoke those words to me, and what I understood with that simple statement of His grace being sufficient was something along the lines of, "Elise, I lived the life you should have lived and died the death you should have died."  Or, as succinctly put in the verse of the old hymn, "Cast your deadly 'doing' down/ Down at Jesus' feet;/ Stand in Him, in Him alone,/ Gloriously complete."  My strivings were all for naught, but Christ's death is God's grace.  So, 'grace' meant salvation.  Now, 2 Corinthians 12:9 has taken on a new meaning or me.  Lately my struggle has been in not being satisfied in just God and again His answer is 'My grace is sufficient for you.'  It's a powerful revelation-- He is all I need.  This time, grace means that God fulfills all of my needs. He is enough.

5.  Dolphins.  One of the highlights of the week was getting to play with dolphins for a shoot.  They were amazing-- I decided they were the dogs of the sea.  They're so playful and silly and eager to please.  I'm a very lucky girl.

No comments: