Saturday, September 20, 2008

Some Things I Am MOST Thankful For...

... the Word of God. I am so amazed that I can keep reading it-- this straightforward and rich message-- and throughout my life, in all kinds of crazy and different situations, it is always relevant. It is always alive. It is always right. There are still millions of people around the world who do not have the Bible in a language that they understand. What a sweet gift we have in being able to read, any time we please, a direct communication from God.

... the grace of God. If you all only knew. I am such a lousy sinner. Rotten through and through. The older I get, the more convicted and aware of my sinful nature I have become. I am critical, selfish, lazy, and lack self-control-- and that's all before noon on the average day. There is no end to my sinfulness.

And yet, Jesus loves me. He died for me, and extends grace to me every single day of my life. Grace in my salvation. Grace in my marriage. Grace in the children He's given. Grace in the provision of bread and clothes and wonderful, glorious books to read. Grace. It's my middle name... and I always have loved it because it's beautiful, but never felt worthy of it, because it's such a feminine word and I was such a tomboy growing up. But it's what I need, and one of the things I'm most thankful for.

"My sin...
Oh, the bliss of this glorious thought:

My sin-- not in part, but the whole-- is nailed to the cross

and I bear it no more.

Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, o my soul!"

~my favorite verse of my favorite hymn, "It Is Well"

... the forgiveness of my husband and children. This relates to that last one. My sin rears its ugly head multiple time a day. There are so many times when I have to ask for forgiveness from my children for my caustic tone of voice. For forgiveness from my husband because of my accusing tone. For forgiveness from my son because of an angry response. For forgiveness from my husband because I have been like that nagging wife in Proverbs, dripping my complaints. I am so very grateful for the way that they continue to forgive me, showering me with kindness and second chances every single day. What a sweet thing it is to be a part of a family that keeps on forgiving.

Forgiveness is this amazing part of life that just defies what our flesh cries out for (vengeance, justice, and the "right" to be hurt and get back at the person through an unforgiving and blaming attitude)... and yet, when we give or receive it, it is restorative and healing in the way it washes over us. As sinners, forgiveness is one of our greatest needs, and I am humbled to receive it. In abundance. From both God and man.

What things are you most thankful for?


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