Monday, June 25, 2012

The Gift of Today


A year ago today, I downloaded a devotional called Jesus Calling to my Kindle. Today’s entry is interesting since this date has the power to reach deep into my soul and jerk the tears right out of my eyes. Here’s what it says…

“Open your hands and your heart to receive this day as a precious gift from Me. I begin each day with a sunrise, announcing My radiant Presence. By the time you rise from your bed, I have already prepared the way before you.”

Really God? Was this day eight years ago a precious gift from you? Did you prepare it for us before we even got out of bed that morning? Because by 6:00 that night, my entire existence was changed. My little girl’s life on earth came to a screeching halt as you gently lifted her off this earth and into your presence. Great news for her, life changing, faith altering, excruciating grief for me!

Eight years ago? Really? Can it have been that long? Or has it been 800 years? Sometimes it feels like it was that long ago. And yet, as I type this, the tears flow as freely as if it were yesterday. Yes, this is a Gift of Grief kind of day.

My devotional continues… “Bring Me the gift of thanksgiving, which opens your heart to rich communion with Me. Because I am God, from whom all blessings flow, thankfulness is the best way to draw near Me. Sing praise songs to Me; tell of My wondrous works. Remember that I take great delight in you; I rejoice over you with singing.

Oh, I remember those days following this date eight years ago. Praise and thanksgiving did not come easily. It was truly a “sacrifice of praise” as I stood in church and attempted to sing. It’s hard to sing when you’re choking on grief. But I did it anyway. Sometimes alone in the balcony with my sweater pulled up over my head and tears streaming down my face. But deep in my heart, I knew You were weeping right along with me. Those times were indeed excruciating, but Your presence was so near. There is a special sweetness about those times. Thanksgiving in the midst of such pain really does open our hearts to rich communion with You.

So, again today, for the eighth time, I will offer up the sacrifice of praise, trusting that Your Word is true… that You are who you say You are… That You’ll do what You say You’ll do. You are my only Hope—My Unswerving Hope.

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!

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I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother raising her granddaughter. I am blessed with incredible family and friends. I love working for my church and serving on our Women's Ministry Team. I especially want to reach the women who wear their "Everything's fine" smiles on Sunday, but go home to deal with tough real-life issues throughout the week.