Life is hard. You’re probably thinking, “Ok lady, What else is new?” Although it may not seem like a grand revelation, in many ways I think it is one of the most important. If we aren’t careful, it’s easy to find ourselves in one of two camps…..discouraged because we can’t seem to keep it together or overly confident in our ability to “handle” our circumstances. At the root, both camps roast marsh mellows around an oh-so cozy fire fueled by nothing other than pride itself. If I take a hard look at my own heart, I realize I’ve unrolled my sleeping bag more than I’d like to admit in one of camp or another. So on this Thankful Thursday, I’m praising God for His forgiveness, His grace and His Faithfulness to help me learn to dwell in HIM.
No matter how many times I stumble, God is always there to gently pick me up, dust me off, and give me clear direction. I shudder to think about how undeserving I am of His love, but instead try to focus on what He would have for me to do to bring him glory. Sometimes that is just putting one foot in front of the other. The thing is, He doesn’t ask us to know all the answers, to have a master plan or keep it all together. He DOES ask us to commune with HIM and to LOVE each other.
1 John 4:13-21 New International Version (NIV)
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
Just as He is faithful to us, so we should be to those around us. No one says life is fair or easy. Neglecting responsibility will not magically make things easier. Sometimes I think people feel overwhelmed when they try to own up to our God-given responsibilities (marriage, children, the poor or unfortunate) because we are already so taxed by the burdens in life we place on ourselves. When all the spinning plates start to crash, many start to blame the hard work of relationships and essentially choose to protect self imposed plates rather than those God grants the strength, courage, peace and delight to uphold. How many of those plates aren’t even part of His will?
Without God, this juggling act is absolutely impossible. So not only am I thankful for Christ’s faithfulness to ME personally, I am also grateful for those in my life who lean on Him to fulfill their commitments: My boss, my friends, my family and especially, my husband. In today’s world when everything suggests the quick fix, greener grass or a twisted rationalization of selfishness, we have all the greater cause to appreciate those who dependable and faithful (over little or much).
Life IS hard, but we are not alone, and bible reminds us that the Lord is faithful to complete the work He has begun in us. I’ve already noticed a distinct change as I’ve began to cultivate a thankful heart by linking up with Marsha’s Musings for Thankful Thursday each week. As He continues to unfold His love and will for my life, I see more and more how old things are cast away made new in Him. So instead of camping in pride, I thank you Lord for Your faithfulness as you call me and grant the wisdom to abide in You. 🙂
How about you? Anything small or large (or medium) that you are thankful for?’ What areas has He helped you be faithful in? I’d love to hear it in the comments! 🙂