It comes when I lay all my worries, inadequacies, fears, and doubts at the foot of the cross. The moment when I except the fact that no matter how hard I try, nothing is going to be perfect, and I am content in that. This is when my God swoops in and makes everything more perfect than I could ever imagine. The moment when I give Him all my expectations is when God comes and completely blows my mind. The moment I choose to pause and focus in on the bluebird and all his extravagant colors, instead of worry about the laundry waiting to be done and the paper waiting to be written. The moment when I make the decision to open the door to my heart is when my God comes in and adorns it with gratitude.
Yesterday was a challenging day for me. Occasionally I am hit with a deep and agonizing longing for those I love most. My sweet family has spread out to make their own lives, and my darling is up in Virginia, working his hardest everyday, so that he can come and see me whenever school and work permits it. Needless to say, yesterday was one of those “occasional days.” No matter how hard I tried to focus on my responsibilities, I could not seem to ignore my broken heart, which was getting more blue by the hour. As the day went on, the sadness I felt began to transform into bitterness and anger towards God. “Sometimes I just don’t understand it. Why can’t we just live on the same street here in Charlotte and do everything together, all the time?” My perfect expectations were consuming me. “Why can’t Alec just live in Charlotte? Or why can’t I live in Virginia? God, what were you thinking, moving everybody everywhere? Didn’t you think about little me?” After sitting in my anger for far too long, it became apparent to me that neither my family nor Alec were any closer to living on my street and doing everything with me. The moment my heart opened just a tiny bit the Lord slipped through and I said hello to conviction.
It is always a somewhat dramatic scene when I am convicted of something I have done. As those who are close to me can tell you, every emotion I feel is very strong. I never hesitate to go all the way in wherever I am. It is either very happy or very sad. Very passionate or I really don’t care at all. Some say this is a good thing, others say not so much. Whether it is good or bad, it happens. So as you can imagine, I feel convictions deep in my soul and have a tendency to let it linger, instead of running straight for The Cross. The great thing about my God, though, is that He always meets me where I am. He comes to me, sitting all alone in my shame, picks me up, and washes me in His perfect grace. Oh man, I love Him.
This is exactly what happened to me yesterday. Jesus ambushed my heart like a stealthy ninja and gently (yet sternly) told me of my fault. Recently my pastor (aka, my amazing daddy) taught on The Lord’s grace. He told us that it is entirely impossible for one to break a single commandment. Once you have committed adultery, you have stolen someone who isn’t your own. Once you have stolen, you have coveted. Once you have coveted, you have made an idol…etc. I had been discontent, which means I did not trust the Lord and his providence and will for my life. Which means I questioned The Lord’s sovereignty…etc. However, the most beautiful thing about my God is that He never gives up on me and always has more than enough grace to cover my sins. He is completely unconditional in His love and always comes to save me and redeem me.
I realized then and there that God, everyday, gives each of us a very clear choice. Whether to be thankful in every situation and circumstance that He puts us in, or question His sovereignty. For that is what un-thankfulness truly is. We don’t trust Him. We aren’t content in what He has provided, therefore we say it’s not enough… Which implies that He doesn’t know what we need, saying He is not sovereign. This is dangerous territory, my friends. God provides us with not only our needs, but He gives us extra gifts along the way. God’s little gifts are so easily missed. Until we sit down and focus, recognizing them in every day life, they become buried by our jumbled lives. When I choose a thankful heart, God highlights these blessings: My little brothers smile, my niece’s wobble, the frigid foggy morning, a hot and steamy cup of Earl Grey tea. These are gifts. The Lord is sovereign.
Today, I choose to be thankful. The amazing thing is that the more thanks I send up to Heaven, the more joy comes my way. As I thank Him for His faithfulness, grace, and love, He opens my spiritual eyes to just how truly wonderful and big He is. My God is sovereign and full of gifts for His children.
“Praise to The Lord! Oh give thanks to The Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!” – Psalm 106:1