Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Unexpected Places

Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 254: Today, I am grateful for joy in unexpected places.

It has been awhile since an Ann Voskamp quote and I do adore the way she frames a picture with words. 

There are times our human hearts fill with doubt. The same gift allows us to choose God or reject him. This choice gives way to wondering if He is real. And, if He is real.. how can a loving God allow tragedy, trials and suffering? 

There are books written on the subject... but for me... this quote sums it up:

"The secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is." -Ann Voskamp

Ann gets it. How many of us have tasted the surprising joy that follows suffering when we keep our eyes on Him? When we weary, broken and shaken down to the cavity of our souls... instead of complete darkness... He draws nearer and pours light and hope into the brokenness. We must only open the door and make the invitation. 

He is never too busy and never too tired. He is the great "I AM". 

I prayed before opening my verse of the day... "Give me what you've got." So.. here it is:
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! -Philippians 4:4 

Once again... it fits! 

It compliments the Romans 5:1-5  passage I wanted to quote. This passage is one many struggle to unwrap, but it is so powerful when facing troubles. Once I started looking at translations, I found that "The Message" said it beautifully! I couldn't shorten it without missing or abandoning the wonder of the truth it speaks so clearly.

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
3-5 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!  -Romans 5:1-5

We all have seasons of devastation, sorrow, loss, heartbreak and feeling overwhelmed. He is knocking and waiting for us to open the door so he can flood us with his hope, light, peace and life. Passionate patience proves the power of the Prince of Peace!

I need this lesson as much as anyone else. I have not mastered it.  Our Lord is faithful to remain and tutor us until we understand. And then, he expects us to step out in faith and hold another's hand. 

This temporary life is not our destiny. Our soul breaths are eternal. This trouble will pass and we cannot round up enough containers to contain the joy He pours into our lives through His Holy Spirit. Amazing, right?  

Today, I am grateful for joy in unexpected places.

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