1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Several years ago I participated in one of those Facebook challenges, to spend the month of November posting each day about my gratitude. Having that focus can be life changing, certainly requires reflection and soul searching on many days, but is worth the effort. I decided that here in Patches of Light land, I am giving this month over to my thanksgiving again, a post a day for the month. I must say for the purpose of honesty, that I do not feel all that grateful at the moment, my list of woes is much longer. Isn’t that the point though? Time for an attitude adjustment, or at least a willingness to let God shift my eyes to what is good before me.
Today I am annoyed with the pets who want to go in and out and bark too early and the cat who insists on sitting on my keyboard as I try to write, yet aren’t they the very comfort I take on a cold evening, as they snuggle close and provide some heat? Don’t I appreciate when I am so often home alone that the beasts will sound alarms when anyone comes near? Maybe I have a smidge of thankfulness for them but it is too much of a reach to list them this early in the morning. What of hot coffee in my cup?
I do appreciate the warmth as I hold onto my mug, the very mug a friend gave to me with beautiful scripture written on the sides. Yet my office is so chilled I repeatedly have towhead to the microwave just to reheat my coffee, unable to maintain the warmth long enough to drink the full cup. No, while I appreciate having a hot cup of coffee in the morning, I don’t think this is the real push for my gratitude today. What of this house I sit in as I write?
The physical building has been home to more than I can even count anymore, certainly contains more memories than bad, and I know that most of the world, if not the actual residents of this affluent city would be over the moon to live in this dwelling. Yet it n longer feels so happy, so safe, so full of joy, it is becoming a shell that holds me in when I want to fly. If the alternative is homelessness, yes, this is amazing. Yet, I don’t think this is truly honestly what I am grateful for today. What about my life?
Yes, on day one of this exercise, I must say that I am most grateful that I am still alive, that I have the deep desire to seek out God’s love. This is a new crazy idea for me, maybe one you have settled into already, one you wrestled with and have come to terms with long ago, or even one that you grew up just knowing but this is new to me. I am feeling the seedling that was planted beginning to sprout, the knowledge that while I was told I was unworthy of love, God does indeed love me, the actual me, not the worldly one based on performance or how much I money I can make or whether or not I share my body. I am already loved and God is waiting on me to join in that love, to accept it and live within the glory of His grace, where no condemnation exists, where shame and anger and hate were expelled long ago. I am feeling a yearning to know that kind of love, to avoid death until I have fully lived. Yes, I am thankful for the bits of light that are shining into my relationship with God, a true meeting between me and my Creator that is moving slowly, as I am able to trust and become comfortable with such a crazy idea. No longer looking in at what He offers others, wishing dreaming longing for such a love, I am learning to open my hands and my heart to the One who seeks only goodness.
Today I give thanks to a patient God, who is pursuing me gently.