Many of my Facebook friends are writing what they are thankful for each day this month. It is a beautiful thing. I participated last year but decided not to this year (really only because I am so overwhelmed right now that I’m sure I’d miss days and then feel ungrateful and I don’t want to feel like I’ve failed at yet another thing).
This blog post is my substitute, I guess. In January I decided my theme for the year would be “gratitude” and I’ve spent the past 11 months working on recording all of the “gifts” I’ve received. For inspiration, read Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts. It’s a moving book.
There is so much I thank the Lord for this year. The first is my mother. In the past month, I watched a friend from college walk through the pain of losing her mom. Another is watching hers slip away to glory…too soon. I am so grateful that I have my mom, HERE. I don’t call or even text her every day but I could. And sometimes a girl just needs her mom.
I am thankful to be sharing this senior year with students I’ve spent every day with for four years. It is a joy to look back at how far they’ve come and celebrate where they will be next year.
I am grateful for the man who’s come into my life this year and loved me so well.
There’s so much more.
Can I just say that I am thankful for the word “more”?
Let me explain.
As I was walking Finn a few weeks ago I had a beautiful moment of revelation. I admired the autumn leaves — the blaze of color covering the mountains around our small town — and stood in awe of the beauty and majesty of creation.
The words of Scripture came to my mind..
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge…”
I thought of the flowers and each beautiful, tender bloom. I thought of the sparrow and how He knows every time it takes off and every time it lands. He cares so deeply…
How much more?
It’s become my second favorite phrase in all of Scripture (the first is “But God”, which will need it’s own post). His death and resurrection is enough. His forgiveness would have been enough. Just take away the punishment Lord and let me barely into your kingdom. It’s already too much mercy.
But no. He gives more. so. much. more.
“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you…!
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”
And I looked again at the beautiful trees, alive with my favorite colors – red, yellow, orange, maroon (sorry, had to). I suddenly realized that this beauty, this season I long for each year, is a sign of death. That tree is shedding its leaves to “die” for a time. He gives them dignity. Their “death” brings Him glory. Beauty in suffering.
How much more?
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”
So much more. More than I deserve.
Need more proof? Read all of Romans 5. Here’s a peak: “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!”
Do you think it’s fair to say that this is the anthem of heaven? He is King. He is Life. He gives More.
And I will praise Him.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!”