Friday, April 12, 2013

Don't sleep when God offers His grace

Romans 11:8
Deuteronomy 29:2-6
Isaiah 29:9-10
Family Thanksgiving Challenge
We do not want to be like the Israelites who witnessed a multitude of miracles from God and still shut their eyes to His work among them. We do not want to sleep through His offer of salvation, given the grace to respond yet choosing to put it off until later. For the Lord does give us His grace to see His miracles at work in our lives. But the time to respond will not last forever; those who sleep through His offer may find their time shorter than they expected and themselves unable to respond when they choose, for their "nap" took too long. When God gives us the opportunity to receive His grace, we need to take hold of it, never putting it off for later.
Intentional thanksgiving has helped me recognize and take hold of the graces the Lord holds out to me at various moments in my life. I have oh-so-many reasons to complain, from little irritants to trials that have completely contorted the direction I expected my life to take. I could focus on them day and night and build up quite a litany against God. Yet when I turn my perspective around and focus on the blessings He has given, my litany of praise to God never reaches an end. For every complaint I uncover 10 or 20 or more gifts from Him, preparing me for the challenge I faced, guiding me through it, encouraging me despite it, strengthening me afterward, bringing me blessings out of the difficulty, and showering me with more graces unrelated to the situation. And as I thank Him for those gifts, I uncover even more that I would have missed out on if I only paid attention to the irritants and difficulties. Then I'm able to receive His grace for the big (eternal salvation) and the small(-er) (patience for the moment). I'm sleeping through fewer opportunities, recognizing more of His miracles, responding to His grace more frequently.

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