Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Daily Gratitude Year Four-Day 334: Today, I am grateful for my Randy... who is with me. (Text my journal prompt #29: What friend/family member are you grateful for today?)

I am grateful that he knows me so well (for better or for worse). He reads me like a book and says what I am thinking before I spit it out. We are opposite in some ways, but he is my other half. My best friend and so much more. We can stand on our own and need some quiet time, but we are better, stronger and more fun when we are together. 

One of the things that I love the most after 32 years together and 29 1/2 years of marriage is knowing we are heading in the same direction. Side by side is a great place to be. Even when we are apart... I am not alone. 

I am awed that God designed the intimacy of marriage to help us understand his love for us. We started a new Sunday School series. I am going to enjoy it.  The first lesson looked at the beauty of the words "I am with you." Love is an action verb. When we truly love someone... we look for their good, not to harm them. We desire to protect and serve them. We want to be with them. Even the trials of this world are more manageable when we know someone loves us and is with us. 

God created the human race for the unique purpose of designing into us the ability to deny and reject him. All of creation... without his intervention...always follows his rules and his ways... except us. We get the choice. I wonder if he ever regrets that decision. It has cost him so much. 

At creation... it cost him His breath.
At advent... it cost him time away from heaven.
At the cross... it cost him His blood.

Still, He did not give up.  Immanuel means "God with us". With us means for us and not against us, although, like any good Father, he allows us the consequences of our behaviors so that we can learn and grow. 

Behold! The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel” (which means, “God with us”) -Matthew 1:23 

With us. such a profound thing to be. Present and active... even when silent.

I have seen, known and felt suffering and loss. I am often reminded of the powerful lesson learned in Job.  His friends gave him comfort by simply being "with him" in his suffering... until they opened their mouths! To be with someone... in silence... is powerful. It says, "I don't understand what you are feeling, but I am with you.". 

Yes, I am with you. 

When Moses asked God who he should tell them sent him. God replied, "I AM". That... for my language loving friends is in present tense. Our God is present. No need to be tense. 

When Moses would fret... and who could blame him... his God assignment was huge.
"God said to Moses, “ I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘ I AM has sent me to you.’” - Exodus 3:14

Another favorite of mine... simple but powerful:

"Be still and know that I AM God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10

I am with you! 

Randy and I are far from perfect... but we are better together. God designed us for a partnership and I am grateful he is mine. I am grateful for the examples we've been given... and this long and enduring love story between God and humans. Love, grace and mercy are beautiful. 

I am still giggling about a story told by our pastor about Ruth Graham. She was being interviewed. They stated that being the wife of Billy Graham had to be difficult at times. Have you every thought of divorcing him?  She laughed and said, "No. I've have considered murder a time or two, but never divorce." It was all in good humor, but it speaks to the challenges and the joys of being with someone for better and for worse, on the same journey. 

Today, I am grateful for my Randy...who is with me... and a God who designed us to know him for the purpose of being "with Him." 

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