Sunday, August 11, 2013

a long journey

Photo Credit*

 From where I sit at the window, the broken, weather-beaten corrugated tin over our neighbor's porch flaps in the hot summer breeze. There is a sad melancholy to it. Snapshots of decay and ruin surround me here, affront my senses wherever I go. There is a desolation in my heart. Here there is little assurance that this is the good life; instead all is struggle--buildings struggle against disrepair, cars struggle against rust, atmosphere struggles against dust and smog. Even human existence is a struggle. People struggle to survive, to get ahead, to win, or at least look like it. To have "enough." And the eternal tragedy is that there is never enough. It is never enough.

The bleakness within is a raw and palpable sense that this is not my home. But isn't this an abiding truth? That we are actually sojourners far from home, and Jesus is the One Who has come to find us, and then take us Home one day? Perhaps until now the reality has never been clearer to me.

The challenge to me is this: to take the broken bread, the cup, and give thanks.

“Something always comes to fill the empty places. And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me. This, this, makes me full, and I ‘magnify Him with thanksgiving,’ and God enters the world. What will a life magnify? The world’s stress cracks, the grubbiness of a day, all that is wholly wrong and terribly busted? Or God? Never is God’s omnipotence and omniscience diminutive. God is not in need of magnifying by us so small, but the reverse. It’s our lives that are little and we have falsely inflated self, and in thanks we decrease and the world returns right. I say thanks and I swell with Him, and I swell the world and He stirs me, joy all afoot.”
--Ann Voskamp, "One Thousand Gifts"
  I need to know that God is here. God has gifted all these to me and more, and He Himself is more than Enough.

“...He takes the empty hands and draws me close to the thrum of Love. You may suffer loss but in Me is anything ever lost, really? Isn’t everything that belongs to Christ also yours? Do I not own the cattle on a thousand hills; everything? Aren’t then all provisions, in Christ also yours? If you haven’t lost Christ, child, nothing is ever lost. Remember, ‘through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God’ [Acts 14:22], and in ‘sharing in [My Son’s] sufferings, becoming like Him in His death’ you come ‘to know Christ and the power of His resurrection’ [Phil 3:10]”
--"One Thousand Gifts"

Jehovah-Shammah, Fill the empty places.

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