Saturday, December 31, 2016

Vision Clears In A Grateful Heart

Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 366: Today, I am grateful VISION CLEARS IN A GRATEFUL HEART. 

Can it be that we are at the end of 2016 and four years of daily gratitude? 1461 days of starting the day with a grateful heart. From a 31 day challenge in January 2013 to a daily ritual. Sometimes, it is quick and simple. Sometimes, it is more. Today it is a reflection.

This year's big lesson for me has been: "Vision clears in a grateful heart." 

My "one little word" for 2016 was "Vision". Habakkuk 2:2 is a verse that has grabbed my heart and won't let go. It is a good thing.

And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.-Habakkuk 2:2

I am not a runner... but I am a writer. I want to run the course set before me with energy, stamina and hope. I have spent some time in 2016 illustrating my faith through Bible Journaling and other doodles. I've journaled my gratitude for his little blessings and the big ones. Writing things down helps me remember to be in awe of his presence in my ordinary days.

The physical act of writing... more than typing... makes things stick in my head and my heart. Recall improves when we write things down. Add a little art by mixing font, color or simple drawings... and what clicks in my head seems to stick in my memory a little better. For those who saw War Room... a post it note is a great way to "write the vision; make it plain" on post-it notes. They come in many colors! 

How has my vision cleared? My physical eyes need stronger readers. I have graduated to a 2.25 or 2.5. Obviously, my eyes are a little weaker, but gratitude helps us see things that the eyes often miss. 

Helen Keller wrote so beautifully: The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart. 

She was blind. Her vision was clear. 

A scripture I have loved for most of my life is Hebrews 11:1.

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." 

It is the beginning of the famous "Faith Chapter" in the book of Hebrews. The letters to the Hebrews were a passionate call for the Jewish (Hebrew) people to see Jesus with new eyes. They knew the scriptures. They could quote the prophecies, but many could not see clearly that the Messiah had come. God was with us.

Perhaps... more than 2000 years later... it is easier to see the obvious fulfillment of God's promises through Jesus. I don't know. I did not live 2000 years ago. (Which is good. I'm a huge fan of indoor plumbing.) I have often thought, I might have been blinded to the truth, too.  I might have missed my the star, the manger, the man, the Messiah, the torn veil, the cross and the message.

Jesus came... not to abolish the law... but to be the fulfillment that would free us once and for all time... from our load of sin debt. The debt we could not seem to pay off. 

The catch? We simply have to sincerely seek to be forgiven and accept the life-changing gift of His pardon. Our names added... by His blood... to the Lamb's Bood of Life. (I envision an old quill pen and a bottle of blood red ink.) What is the evidence? We cannot walk away unchanged. 

Some say that "seeing is believing". Jesus offered a blessing on future believers... on us... that John records in John 20:29- "Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Well..."Good morning, Earworm." He is singing old hymns today. I tell him they are not my favorite -but he has a mind of his own. He is singing "Power in the Blood" (Would you be free from the burden of sin? There's power in the blood, power in the blood.) and "Be Thou My Vision" (Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;). These old songs do have big soul value. "Be Thou My Vision" is truly, a favorite of mine (Glad and Rend Collective's versions). 

Good stuff. Right?

Those who see clearly... not with their eyes... but with the soul deep knowledge of the truth in Jesus. He is the Way. He is the Truth. He is the Life. He is the Light of the World. He is our vision... even when we cannot see clearly with human eyes.

Gratitude clears our vision of the things of this world so we can begin to experience the wonder of his love... his care... and his provision. If we can see him, and only him... HE is enough. (I think I am know next year's one little word)


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