Dear friends, don’t be surprised or shocked that you are going through testing that is like walking through fire.
1 Peter 4:12 (CEV)
We draw nigh to Thanksgiving again. This time last year I was thankful for the hospitality of family. We'd survived a winter storm; lost power in the snow, and lived out of our house for about 4 days. As we moved back into our home, we returned to my in-laws to share a final meal. At the time, I wrote…
I pray that in the face of disaster
my quiet faith and humor never leave me.
I know that my Father in Heaven never will...
In that moment, it was Thanksgiving. No turkey, no pies or fancy plans, but Thanksgiving, nonetheless. It should always be Thanksgiving somewhere, shouldn’t it?? We survived again. It could’ve been worse but it wasn’t. We once again hold cups that overflow. I pray, that in the face of my next disaster (there is always another looming), I keep both my sense of gratitude AND my sense of humor.
Quiet faith and humor are consistent themes with me. It's who I am…As I plan to brine yet another turkey and genuinely look forward to days spent in the kitchen and hours in the dining room with family and friends, this Thanksgiving has a profoundness my family and I might not otherwise have appreciated so keenly without sudden chronic illness, a hurricane, a power outage, a snow storm, a relapse and second hospitalization, flu, and gas rationing, all in 6 weeks.
I am thankful for the Grace that comes in quiet moments. I am thankful that our family was drawn even more closely together during my beloved's medical scares, and that while we've always been grateful, (I thought I was thankful last year.) my heart stretches almost beyond its capacity with gratitude…there's got to be a bigger word.
I told my beloved today that I am certain I didn't have the depth of faith necessary to survive what we've been through until just before the moment it was upon us (I know, that's Grace). I thank God that prayer and surrender are not new to me…had it not been for the goodness of the Lord AND that He was always there to hear my pleas, I never could've made it. Mine is a different kind of praise, lately. I no longer pray just for sunny skies (I don't think I have for many years…) I thank God for His steadfastness, and His Promise never to leave nor forsake me. Mine is a different kind of praise now.
In the scripture, Peter challenges believers to be fixed and unmoving. David Guzik, in his Commentaries on the Bible explains, "instead of thinking of trials (even fiery trials) as strange occurrences, we see them as ways to partake of Christ's sufferings. And if we partake of His sufferings, we will also partake of His glory and joy."
Mine is a different kind of praise. I praise Him for Grace, and for random quiet moments when I steal away to come to Him. I praise Him for the strength of my children, whom I didn't want to be this strong this soon, but Thank God. I praise God for the renewed love affair I have with my beloved; we still believe God for a long happy life together, but each day, each moment has an new exquisiteness…it was never promised, but those moments are even sweeter now… Mine is a different kind of praise.
I am rested, because I finally let go, for real. God is in control. I don't want the job, it was never mine, I was never good at it-I was created to serve.
We draw nigh to Thanksgiving again…but I have learned that every day is thanksgiving. We survive again; It could’ve been worse but worse was not God's plan. We once again hold cups that overflow. I pray, that in the face of my next disaster (there is always another looming), my quiet faith and humor never leave me. I know that my Father in Heaven never will…