So, so thankful.

March 26, 2010

Something about seeing so many I‘s in anything I write (unless I’m journaling prayers) repulses me.  But at the same time, I’m learning that His goodness and character are often revealed more clearly on the canvas of real life rather than in abstracts.  So, some of the many things that I have been just so, so thankful for as of late …

1. The joy of ministry.

I don’t know how many times the past few weeks I just had to catch my breath and marvel that God actually lets us be a part of His work of redemption.  Such sweet reminders of why I’m even still here: “if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”  I don’t always remember joy in ministry, but in seasons like this, I can just imagine God rejoicing with a heart fit to burst with pleasure as He reconciles sinners to Himself.

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.
(Fanny Crosby, 1869 — ran into these hymn lyrics twice today!)

2. Time to read and soak it in.

In between meeting with people or before going to bed at night have been some of the most robust times of reading the past couple weeks.  I’ve actually had time to put my book down and ruminate after reading portions, and I’ve even had time to pick up my journal and write down quotes I wanted to remember and think about more carefully later.  Today, while reading before meeting up with a friend, I was so engrossed in reading that I didn’t realize I started dialoging with the author (it was JMac’s The Master’s Plan for the Church) and smiling and “mmm”-ing at penetrating statements until I realized the girl at the next table kept looking up to see what all this solitary commotion was about.  Silly, but so grateful for that time of “feeding.”

3. Unhurried time to journal and reflect and pray.

It’s been an intense couple of weeks within.  It’s never fun when God unearths idols and areas of obstinacy and cherished sin in my heart.  It’s never pleasant to discover second and third and fourth masters lurking within, completely usurping the Master I claim to serve.  But as Sarah Edwards said, “O that we may kiss the rod…!”  She was speaking in terms of the rod of grief, but I think her heart of acceptance can be extended into times of smarting under the rod of His discipline.  They’ve reminded and assured me that I am His own daughter and that surrender and obedience do bring joy.  Obedience > sacrifice.  So much wrestling (the sort where you feel the pull and strain of every muscle and emotion, wrestling, wrestling, wrestling) but such a gracious God.

4. Sisters I can open my heart to.

As I was sharing some deep-seated fears with a sister this past week, she noted that I spoke with such difficulty, as if I were fighting to be vulnerable.  And it is a fight … but He’s been so kind to give sisters with whom I can practice gospel-centered vulnerability.  Love yous.  (The “s” is there on purpose to make it plural).  :]

5. Straight-forward people.

They’re so refreshing.  I don’t have to guess or beat around the bush with them.  What I see and hear is what I get.  They tell me like it is, not unkindly but candidly.  And probably they’re so refreshing because they’re so unlike me.  I think the only place I am consistently straight-forward is in my journal or in prayer.  This is probably related to #4 where I talked about vulnerability, but those straight-forward people in my life teach me to live and speak more honestly.  No need to analyze.  No need to second-guess.  No need to hide.  Friendship with these people is sweet.  And ministry alongside these people is even sweeter, because I can really focus on ministry, not on trying to analyze what they really meant by this or that.  Thankful, thankful.

6. Running.

Getting sleepy now, so in short, it’s been beneficial to more than just my physical health.

7. His goodness.

That He is a good Sovereign.  That He is a good Master.  That He is a good Father.  That He withholds no good thing.  That His plans are good.  That He works all things for good.  So simple but so easily forgotten: He’s good!

And now, speaking of good … good night.


4 Responses to “So, so thankful.”

  1. mimi Says:

    i started “mmm”-ing while reading this entry.
    thanks for sharing, tia! =)

  2. Cassie Says:

    I’m thankful for all of those things too (except “running”, which you know goes without saying! LOL). I am just so thankful for His goodness, and His Lordship, a little of which Chris touched on today in his sermon…I was doing a lot of “mmm”-ing and “amen!”-ing. Lots of love to you my sweet friend.

  3. cathiehong Says:

    tiatia, thanks for sharing! i love reading tidbits of what’s going on in your life :] hehe, i’ve been a poor reader these days, but s & i just spent the evening reading at a park & it was so refreshing! miss ya :]

  4. Tia Says:

    ❤ ❤ ❤

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