Sunday, January 27, 2013

What's Your Issue? Lessen it with Gratitude

They are crammed into the back pew, five grown boys and one little boy and their favorite aunt.  Their Papaw is up front in his suit and he clears his throat. The song is 276 and I smile in memory.

We sing about Prayer Bells of Heaven and Paul and Silas and the boys in the fiery furnace, of Jesus in the garden sweating bullets of blood as he prays for God to remove this cup. The boys are standing, but I'm not sure how much singing they're doing.

Seniority wins and he moves up to sit next to his Mama.  As we stand for the reading of the scripture, I notice once again how with his hair spiked up, he is almost taller than me. Those four guys sitting behind me, I love them so...

And we're reading about the issue of blood and Caleb leans into me and I think about how everything can change in just a minute.  She was immediately healed and Jesus immediately knew it... and how sometimes I know things but I don't, so I have to just keep trusting.

Suffering can be for a season or it can be for a few days or it can be for a few years, and sometimes we think we will never get through it.  We try everything within our power, running here and there, spending our money and trying to buy our healing or our happiness or our acceptance.  We're kind of like that woman, who went to many doctors and went through many things and spent all she had... but didn't get better. Instead, she got worse.  And isn't that how we are, in times of difficulty? Exhausted, we're physically and emotionally and financially spent?  And the attacks just keep coming harder and harder, and we wonder how we will ever survive...

And then He passes by. It may be through His Word or a sunset or a friend's kind word... but He is there and we recognize it.  We look the answer to our problem in the face, opening our eyes to His presence through gratitude... and by giving thanks and counting these gifts, we know He has made us whole.

Counting gifts through the Joy Dare, and extra ones, too... things like Diet Coke and the pictures and magnets on my fridge and my Bybee pottery collection, and sound sleep and a win for my girls and Psalm 42, Laughter, Him knowing my name, my Papaw up there leading the songs, familiar from when I was young, my grandma playing the piano, my husband and my 3 cousins crowding Aunt Lisa out of the back pew, Mom's cake pop and food from her kitchen and a Christian legacy of love from my parents and grandparents...

These gifts... we'll keep counting.  And suddenly, our issues don't seem so big at all.  Join me in the Joy Dare at

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