Each new day has beauty woven into it by the Creator. It is not fleeting or only for a select few, but wonderful gift given to all those who will partake. The Grace of God is like that on a spiritual level. A gift of forgiveness, joy, and renewed beauty, taking us beyond ourselves into the everlasting. One day those who receive it will look and go “Oh!”
What a wonderful Thanksgiving prayer:
The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me everything I need.
He lets me lie down in fields of green grass.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He gives me new strength.
He guides me in the right paths
for the honor of his name.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid.
You are with me.
Your shepherd’s rod and staff
You prepare a feast for me
right in front of my enemies.
You pour oil on my head.
My cup runs over.
I am sure that your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life.
And I will live in the house of the Lord
forever. Psalm 23 NIRV
God has given us this prayer because He wants us to pray it, so He can fulfill it in our lives. Lord I fall at Your feet in thanksgiving.
Joy is a blessing of highest order.
Like rays of sunshine warming what ever it touches.
Yet it disappears with the slightest disturbance.
Why is something so good so fragile?
Joy runs at the first hint of trouble.
It is easily hidden by clouds of struggle,
And overwhelmed by the slightest ripple in life.
Joy dies whenever grief rolls in.
Is there a way to hold on to it through all life’s trials?
Once a year we celebrate the joy of Christmas, propping it up with presents.
But the bright packages prove futile against the doldrums of winter.
Maybe the problem is:
We seek the ephemeral joy instead of the eternal.
Settle for a hint of joy rather than push on to the fullness of joy.
Run after a gift instead of the giver.
Worship the created instead of the creator.
In Your presence is fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11
Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. John 15:9-11
After wandering through the trees the Iceberg Lake trail breaks out to traverse the slopes of mighty mountains. I feel so small.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:10-12
God through His love yearns to give us compassion and forgiveness. Not reluctantly, but in great quantity. These great mountains are dwarfed in comparison to the great love God has for those who fear Him (hold Him in highest esteem).
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him: for he knows how we are formed, he remembers we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14
God loves HIs children. He knows our weaknesses, our needs, and our failures. So when we humbly bow before Him, He treats us with compassion not as we deserve.
As I hike along the Iceberg Lake trail and marvel at creation, it puts me in awe of God, my Father, and His great love for me.
Often, when I try to pray, past memories harp at me about why I’m unworthy to go before God. Only when I pray trusting in the power of Jesus to forgive all my past and future, am I able to enter the peace of God’s presence. Placing my faith in the His grace, and the power of Christ’s blood is the key. God’s love then quiets the cacophony in my head and brings me to innocent communion with Him.
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. –Ephesians 3:12
I need the Lord’s help to remember the sufficiency of His grace. I need the Lord’s help to forget the ugliness He has forgiven. I need the Lord’s help to live for Him in the innocence He gives.