Gratitude Day 86 – Presence

blurry cross

Fri., July 20, 2018

2 Corinthians 3:4 – We are sure about all this. Christ makes us sure in the very presence of God.

It’s been a struggle lately.

I don’t sleep well.

I am not focusing.

I feel unsure of what is next in my life.

The days begin with somewhat of a plan. At the end of the day, I am not sure anything I did today was important. Significant. Made a difference.

There is busyness but not fulfillment.

It’s like a picture that has been taken. Everything is noticeable. Everything is recognizable. But everything is just a hare bit out of focus.

I am blessed. My life is filled with many good things. I have little to be discouraged about. Many would trade spots with me in a heartbeat.

 

I get this. I know this. I deeply appreciate this.

Yet, this does not mean I always feel “put together;” whatever “put together” means.

I give myself permission to be. To struggle. To know today is another day. I begin anew, knowing I do not go alone.

God’s presence is with me. Christ promises me the Holy Spirit, the one who holds my hand when I don’t feel “put together.” We will mull through it together, the Holy Spirit and me.

Soon, a day will come when the corner will bend. Things will look a bit smarter. I will have more clear direction. Focus will be sharper. Direction will be more evident. Energy will be easier. The words and laughs will come easier.

For now, the Holy Spirit sits with me. Is present with me. Knows my heart, my struggle, my lack of focus.

And is OK with it.

I pray that I can be as well.

For God’s presence, I am grateful.

Lord God – thank you for not expecting us to be at the top of our game every day, even if we expect this of ourselves. Thank you for being present with us, even when our lives are a bit or a lot out of focus and we aren’t sure why. Help bring things back into clarify when it feels just a little empty. Bring words and laughter into our lives today. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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Gratitude Day 20 – A Simple Fire

fire in back yard

Sat., Apr. 21, 2018

Hebrews 12:29 –For our God is a consuming fire.

Hubby Rick started a fire in the chimenea tonight. When he has smaller boards or branches, he often starts a fire in our backyard. As you can see, the old oak boards burned brightly tonight!

Fires are interesting. They never stay the same, constantly moving and changing. When our grandkids are visiting, they love to have a fired in the backyard. Often, we roast hot dogs or marshmallows. It’s easy to sit around a fire for extended periods of time, with or without conversation. Who bores when watching a fire?

Fire is a common concept in scripture. Fire is used to eliminate sinful and challenging people in the Old Testament. The alter becomes a place where sacrifices and offerings are burned and dedicated to God.

In the New Testament, this changes. For Christians, Christ becomes and sacrifice that takes on our sinful nature. Jesus deals with it once and for all. No more sacrifices are needed. Believe in God’s redeeming work through Christ becomes the focus.

Look at this verse from Hebrews: For our God is a consuming fire. This sentence can sound daunting. Most often, we think of fire as eliminating the awful and bad. Yet, after a fire, new growth can happen. This is why people burn fields and road ditches in the spring. Eliminate the old so the new can poke through and experience new life.

Maybe this is what the Hebrew scripture is referring to when it says, “God is a consuming fire.” The reference here is to worshipping God. Through worshipping God, we can see our hearts can become overjoyed with a God who longs to consume us fully.

It is hard to maintain ourselves spiritually so that we feel God’s consuming presence in our lives. Having little things that re-direct me back towards God and God’s saving grace makes recognizing God’s presence in my life much easier. Something as simple as a fire in the chimenea.

For this, I am grateful.

Lord God – Thank you for being in my daily live. Thank you for simple things, such as a fire, to help us see you. May we desire to let our worship of you be such that we find new birth in you. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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