Charis, Eucharisteo, and Chara.
Grace, Thanksgiving, and Joy.
Grace, Thanksgiving, and Joy.
Three words that, in this second chapter of this incredible book I'm reading, the author uses to bring about the desire to change our hearts to live fuller for God. She says of this "triplet of stars," that they are light in the dark, life. Life. Light.
We see examples of grace- Jesus. Where do we find thanksgiving? Even at the cross. How do we grasp joy? Just as God did at the death of His Son. Can we do this? Be thankful amidst pain. Show grace during our worst trial. Let our hearts light up with joy in all circumstances?
How do we do this? We accept God's words as truth. We practice faith. Seek. Follow. Seek. Follow. Seek...and follow.
I've felt I've followed the Lord my entire life, up to this point, and plan on doing just that for the rest. I've seen this constellation of stars at work in so many around me. My grandmothers, my grandfathers...through their worship, baking of cookies, babysitting of my brother and I, fellowship with other believers at their church. Through my parents- their work, their mission at church, their day to day preparations for living. Through my husband, his unconditional love for me, despite my mistakes and failures, and his prayer life, his spiritual journey.
How are my "stars" doing? Do I acknowledge this grace given? Is my thankfulness an all encompassing act? With what spirit do I live? I am ALWAYS encouraged by the thought of God's grace and His ultimate sacrifice for bringing about salvation for those who accept it. I think of countless times in which Jesus extended his hand of mercy, and grace, to those who bypassed the law to search for His miracle. The woman who grabbed his garment as he passed. The woman who broke her tears and perfume at his feet. Those moments are kept in my heart vault of examples.
Thankfulness, in my life, is a thread that sometimes has one strand, and sometimes two or three, depending on how much control I relinquish to God. Giving up to him the everyday, the good the bad. What cord am I building? One that is not easily broken? I hope, and perhaps through thankfulness comes the greatest joy. I know Ms. Voskamp said that thankfulness precedes the miracle, and in my life, an important miracle I've craved is this: JOY. And as wonderful as joy is, it can come through pain and sorrow, for God works through those things in ways we do not understand. I let Him. Do you? I LET Him, I SEE Him, I LONG for Him.
It never fails, at 4 o'clock the countdown begins. My three children ask again and again when daddy will be home. The littlest blonde hair child, nose smooshed against the big window. Perhaps his sticky face leaving its stickiness on the glass as well. The fidgety middle child, running all around, back and forth, up and down, driving me crazy, by the way. The oldest child, becoming either quiet on her own accord or joining in on the wildness of her brother, Philip. A longing, expressed in different ways.
Patience. Excitement. Anticipation. I think all these are real, and honest ways we await for His presence in our lives. Don't we have these different emotions at times? Do we let God take these emotions and reactions and shape them into charis, eucharisteo, and chara? If we are fearful, can you see how God holds you in His unshaking hand. If we are peaceful, we should be thankful- not forgetting how important reveling in that peace is. Anticipation, a key to dream and hold onto hope...but don't let it be discarded as the worst of life comes your way. As much as it is said, it's true: keep your chin up. Delight in the Lord! It is SUFFICIENT to FILL!