One Thousand Gifts: a book review – chapter 1

“Like all beliefs, you simply live them.”

Nathan and I were discussing this over breakfast one morning this week.  We all believe…something.  It’s the life we live that expresses our beliefs not the words we say or the intentions we have…as much as I’d like that to be enough sometimes!  So, do I believe His Word?  “I am with you always,” “Fear not,” “Be anxious for nothing…in everything pray,” “His love endures forever,” If you do the thing you know is wrong, it is sin,” “If you confess…He is faithful and just to forgive,” “In all things, give thanks,” “LOVE!”

“Satan, he wanted more…the sin of ingratitude…Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives…in the beginning our eyes were already open.  Our sight was perfect…Our eyes fell on nothing but the glory of God.  We saw God as He truly is: good.  But we were lured by the deception that there was more to a full life…And, true, there was more to see: the ugliness we hadn’t beheld, the sinfulness we hadn’t witnessed, the loss we hadn’t known…Now everywhere we look, we only see all that isn’t: holes, lack, deficiency…”

O’ God, how true; how wretchedly true!  How many times have I – will I search for something else to see, to do, to feel right after I say “All of You is more than enough”?  Will I ever find that complete contentment…the kind that isn’t all about being satisfied in the house and clothes I live in but about being completely satisfied in You.  The kind that doesn’t care if there even is a house or clothes or ‘x’ number of friends but that does care that You consume…have all of me.  When will my eyes remain stayed on the Beautiful instead of wandering to the other…the ugly…the unholy?  All of you…more than enough…

“Grace, it means “favor”…It’s one thing to choose to take the grace offered at the cross.  But to choose to live as one filling with His grace?  Choosing to fill with all that He freely gives and fully live..the choice to open the hands to freely receive whatever God gives? (whatever…be it good or bad, easy or hard)…How do i give up resentment for gratitude, gnawing anger for spilling joy?  Self-focus for God communion…an emptier, fuller life.”

Last night I had a relapse.  A moment when I thought that what was given was not enough…that we deserved more.  I was unsettled over this…not worried…honestly, disappointed.  I thought…’why not more, God, why?’  As a person…sometimes mainly as a Christian – we liberally ask that question and scarcely just take it with ‘thanks’.  I admit…I wanted a different gift…a greater gift.  I forgot that God put a great amount of heart and thought into what He gave me; I didn’t put as much in my responset.  To live with open hands…that is what God reminded me of in the night when I was up with my coughing little girl.  Open hands to readily receive and willingly release; to be blessed and to bless.  “He gives and takes away…my heart will choose to say”…what?  Oh how I pray…”Blessed is Your Name, LORD!”  His mercies are new every morning…I take them now in open hands.  I will not close them.  No more grasping or smothering the blessing and joy or playing keep away from God.  I will live surrendered…open handed.  Will you join me?