Never have a read a book that has convicted me so much. I cried while reading this book more than I have ever cried with a book in hand. Even the most emotional novel hasn't evoke this need for a tissue box handy! God used this little 227 page book to convict my heart. And slowly my stubborn, unthankful self is beginning to grow again. I am choosing to look for grace in the little moments. The times when it isn't quite so apparent. This little portion of the book, on page 59, has been on my mind since reading it. I even highlighted it:
When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let the joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows. How can this not be the best thing for the world? For us? The clouds open when we mouth thanks....Something always comes to fill the empty places. And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me. This, this, makes me full, and I "magnify him with thanksgiving" (Ps. 69:30), and God enters the world. What will a life magnify? The world's stress cracks, the grubbiness of the day, all that is wholly wrong and terribly busted? Or God? Never is God's omnipotence and omniscience diminutive. God is not in need of magnifying by us so small, but the reverse. It's our lives that are little and we have falsely inflated self, and in thanks we decrease and the world returns right. I say thanks and I swell with Him, and I swell the world and He stirs me, joy all afoot.Last night I was reading Psalm 97. The last verse of the chapter says something about giving thanks at the remembrance of His holiness. The word "remembrance" means "a memorial". Our thanksgiving should be a memorial to our God.
I have known all this and been taught all this from the time I can remember. Lots of sermons on thanksgiving, "give thanks in all things", etc, etc. But somehow, God's using right now to let me really start understanding it.
It's made it possible for me to be quiet in the midst of little boys screaming at one another, finding the thing to be thankful for in that moment, and then address the boys with the right spirit. The times when I am tired and my nerves are unraveling, and supper is late, and Jonathan is grouchy, and the house is a mess - even in those moments, I can give thanks.
I still fail more often than not, but each time I open myself to grace, I am awed by the peace that comes.