Sunday, February 12, 2017


Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 43: Today, I am grateful for sanctuary.

Sometimes, I just need to be home. It is my sanctuary. 

A sanctuary is defined as a place of refuge or protection, like an animal sanctuary. It can also have a spiritual significance. The "holy of holies" ... the most sacred part of a  building that holds religious services. 

Nature's sanctuaries become some of the most beautiful places on the planet. They are protected by law. Passionate people pour energy into these places and just being seems to speak to the soul. 

People who fish understand the sanctuary of a boat on the water. 

People who build, find it in a workshop with tools and wood.

People who paint, read or write... find it in a studio space. 

People who love books... find it in a library. 

People who cook... find it in a garden or in a well stocked kitchen. 
People who love God... find it in his presence. 

Real moments of sanctuary- typically- require an element of quiet. It doesn't have to be complete silence, but the sounds must be a part of the experience... enhancing and making the moment more... not less by causing distraction. 

My Dad found his sanctuary in a tractor cab working the fragrant black soil.
Mama Ina Mae... in her music room or sewing room... she found peace and rest until we interrupted.
Grandpa Lindgren... he loved to be in the barn or chicken house. I know God spoke there.
Grandma Marge... she found it in her flower garden... or simply looking out the window over the kitchen sink. As Alzheimer's took her mind... it is where she saw angels I could not see.    

Time in sanctuary is restorative. We all need a recharge. 
Time in sanctuary is reflective and helps us focus.
Time in sanctuary is soul food.  
Time in sanctuary honors God and recognizes he is sovereign and holy. 

In the sacred places, we make our offerings. We take God our lives, which seem so broken at times and insignificant in the "big picture" of the world, but there he waits for us to give him our full attention. No distractions. 

In those sacred places, He whispers these things: "Welcome home." "I adore you." "I am with you." "You are never alone."  "I have a plan and a purpose, press on." "You are not broken, you are being shaped." "I love you, child. You are mine." 

We are told to create a sanctuary for God... and he will meet us there. 

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.-Exodus 25:8

How should we behave in the most holy places?

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LordPsalm 134:2

Christ... the lamb of God... took our place and covered our sin. Sin requires a blood offering. Blood is essential for human life. His blood gives new life. It washes away every sin.

For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. -Hebrews 9:24

God never changes. His holiness is repelled by sin. By taking human form, he experienced temptation with us. He came to pay the price and solve the problem. His gift covers all who ask. 

But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. -Romans 5:15-17

We can enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts and enter His courts with praise. Admission paid! 

There is a beautiful worship song called "Sanctuary". The chorus is a prayer:

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You

I want to be "at home" in his presence. 

Today, I am grateful for sanctuary.

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