November 3, 2009

Thank You

Thank you, Jesus, for the glow of sunrise over the mountains this morning. For the sunshine that's brightened my day. For the joy of seeing a blue sky. For the two exceptionally wonderful days in a row I've had, and for the promise of a third.

Our pastor gave an interesting sermon on Sunday. The first Sunday of every month is Communion Sunday, and this last week Pastor Lawler preached on remembering what Jesus has done for you. Not just in a communion sense, not just in the thank-you-for-dying-for-my-sins way. But for our lives overall.

Thank you, Jesus, that I am loved by my husband and by my son. Thank you, Lord, that I am loved by my parents and step-parents. Thank you, oh thank you! that I am loved by my in-laws. Thank you that I am loved by my friends in San Diego, by my friends scattered across the U.S., by the friends I am making here, and by bloggie friends and World of Warcraft guildies whom I have never met.

As Christians, we tend to emphasize the picture of the Cross and rightly so. For us, the Cross is our redemption and our hope. But it is not the end of our journey. Rather, it is the beginning. We find life at the Cross; we find forgiveness. But where do we go from there? At the point of our conversion, we are still liars, cheats, and adulterers. We still struggle with anger, impatience, greed, envy, discontent, depression, bitterness, disappointment, and selfishness.

Or do we?

Thank you, Jesus, that I have so much to look forward to. Heather coming to visit in three weeks, Mom and Harry coming for Christmas, the holidays spent here in our new home, our son's third birthday looming before us, a construction project that will be both exciting and fun.

Yes, we do struggle. But praise and glory! the Lord doesn't leave us there. He doesn't bring us to the foot of the Cross, forgive us, and then say "Ok, have a nice life." Nope. He doesn't. The Cross is simply the beginning, the starting place from which Christ begins a good work in us. Rather than leave us to wallow in our self-made hells, He grants us a second chance and begins to change those things that make us miserable.

And that process can take a lifetime.

Thank you, Jesus, for this sunny day. For reprieve from rain. For strengthening my heart, for steadying my feet. For guiding my path so I do not fall. For watching my back and letting me know when I've gone too far. For grace, ever and always, new every morning.

It is on those things that our pastor encouraged us to dwell this past Sunday. For the many ways, tiny and momentous alike, that Jesus has shaped, changed, improved, and saved our lives.
His sermon made me think of a phrase I heard in a bible study by Anne Graham Lotz. She encouraged us to "live a thank-you life to Jesus." That phrase has stuck with me, though sadly, I often forget to act upon it. What would such a life look like?

Thank you, Jesus, for this beautiful place we now call home. For the ocean, always near. For the mountains, sometimes shrouded but never far off. For the trees and lakes, for the hiking trails we enjoy, and for the seashells we collect. Thank you even for the wind and rain, for I have seen a wild, unearthly beauty in them that I had not thought possible. In so doing, I have glimpsed another side of You.

I want to live such a life. This is not just about being grateful; it is also about remembering what He has done. I want those memories to affect me. I want them to sink in deep, to be etched permanently in my mind. I want them to inspire trust when I face a new challenge or threat.

I want to remember. And not just on Communion Sunday.

"Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord.
Renew them in our day, in our time make them known."
Habakkuk 3:2
"The Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes."
Psalm 118:23
"And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.'"
Luke 22:19

1 comment:

LeAnna said...

This was beautiful, Nicole. And so true.