ONE THOUSAND GIFTS

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Groaning into a new day...

...The more hassled you feel, the more you need this sacred space of communion with Me. Breathe slowly and deeply. Relax in My holy Presence while My Face shines upon you. This is how you receive My Peace, which I always offer you... Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

Be Still My Soul... by Selah.  All I can add is to whisper a grateful, "Amen."

This morning, for whatever reason, the body, the mind, the spirit...just could hardly move....just could hardly believe I had to begin a new day.  A day I already knew to be full with an Update, a Sermon, a Bulletin....those words that appear on a page....I just have not found a way to shut my eyes and then discover the page full....of just the right words.

This morning, sitting down with my devotion I prayed, "Lord, you know what is on my plate for this day and you know how tired and spent I feel...and the day has not yet begun! Lord, I feel overwhelmed by all I need to accomplish.  Lord, I feel sad by the things I really want to accomplish, yet I know those things don't pay the bills. Lord, grant that I discover what I need within these moments with you. Amen."


Yesterday, during the Wednesday Lunch Bunch conversation we talked about miracles.  Biblical miracles and miracles that occur in our everyday/ordinary life.  Sarah's devotion for today...I would almost count as a miracle. Continuing from above...
...Imagine the pain I feel when My children tie themselves up in anxious knots, ignoring My gift of Peace. I died a criminal's death to secure this blessing for you. Receive it gratefully; hide it in your heart. My Peace is an inner treasure, growing within you as you trust in Me. Therefore, circumstances cannot touch it.Be still, enjoying Peace in My Presence.
"Receive it gratefully..."

Those words are taking on a new significance for me as I strive to live life through an attitude of gratitude in all things.  This morning, because I know I am struggling with focus, instead of journaling on One Thousand Gifts, I am going to Psalm 46, as transposed by Eugene Peterson in The Message Bible:
1-3 God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him.We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,courageous in seastorm and earthquake,Before the rush and roar of oceans,the tremors that shift mountains. 
This morning, sitting with these words, I realized that in many ways....I wanted to hide!  I wanted to hide from anyone and anything that could want something from me....I realized I do feel as though I am standing [and have been standing for a long while] in the midst of a storm.  A storm of constant demands on my physical, emotional, and mental self.

Ummm.  Sound like a familiar Bible story?
8-10 Attention, all! See the marvels of God!He plants flowers and treess all over the earth,Bans war from pole to pole,breaks all the weapons across his knee."Step out of the traffic! Take a long,loving look at me, your High God,above politics, above everything. 
11 Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,God-of-Angel-Armies protects us..


As powerful as the imagery in this Psalm, it was Eugene Peterson's reflection that really helped me to pause this morning.

...The city of God is safe, not because it's a sphere of innocence, protected by unscalable walls and sophisticated security systems. It's safe because it's the sphere where God's help is available....The verb 'help' is used in verse 5, where I translate it, 'God at your service.' He knows the kind of world we live in, and he knows how vulnerable we are in that world. He anticipates our needs and plans ahead. He's there right on time to help, there at the crack of dawn."


In verse 8, the psalmist says, 'Attention, all! See the marvels of God!' In other words, 'Quit rushing through the streets long enough to become aware that there is more to life than your little self-help enterprises.'


In a world that is falling apart around us, it's easy to become frantic and lose touch with God. But if God is the living center of redemption, it's essential that we be in touch with him and responsive to him. If God has a will for this world and we want to be in on it, we must be still long enough to find out what it is.


It is then, and 'only' then, that we'll be able to see the marvels of God that are going on around us and inside us.


In order to write words that others might find meaningful within an Update or a Sermon, in order to consider Gratitude...to journal about Gratitude... In order to live fully I must be still long enough to discover God working around me and within me.

It is with a sense of gratitude that I receive the words of Sarah Young and Eugene Peterson as they used the imagery of Psalm 46 in their own writing.

Instead of sitting with Ann's book, these were the words I needed this morning to calm my anxiety, my overwhelm, and my fatigue at the beginning of a new day....a day that is truly a gift from God!

God, I am grateful for the Psalmist, and I am grateful for those who take the words of these ancient writings and weave them into paragraphs of words that heal my soul on mornings such as this. Help me to take the peace of these moments into my day.  Help me to pause as demands seem to heavy...seem to come to fast...and simply rest in your presence. Amen!


This video....I struggle with the images of the crucifixion story as depicted in The Passion of The Christ.  ....truth be told, I normally avoid them.  But this morning, the images within this video spoke to my heart, as violent as they are...  Through It All....  If Christ had not suffered...how would I know he truly understands my tired and weary heart? How else could I trust?

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

4 comments:

  1. Hi Sandy, thanks for the strength and uplifting words this morning. I especially like the painting of the five women bowed in grace before the golden light. I'm hoping you have a beautiful, grace-filled day! and thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hello, it truly means a lot. happy day to you.

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  2. sorry for misspelling your name!

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  3. Thanks for this inspiring post...We humans are something else...we have all we need in HIM...yet we are so quick to let go of that ....thankfully HIS mercy is new every morning:)

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  4. This post came just in time...been feeling overly tasked lately, but your post has re-reassured me of the refuge I have in Him! I particularly like the picture with "I AM" in the middle, I couldn't help but download it..Lovely post! remain blessed!!

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