Monday, March 29, 2010

Multitude Monday

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride."
Psalm 46: 1-3

We may not experience anything as dramatic as these verses describe in the course of our lives, but there are times when it feels as though the earth has shifted beneath our feet.

Eleven days ago, when my Mom stepped into the bathroom to take a shower, she had no inkling that things were about to change dramatically within the course of a few minutes. The simple act of putting on her slacks, a loss of balance and she found herself on the floor in more pain than she had every experienced in her lifetime.

She fell against the bathroom door, and my Dad could not get the door open to get to her. He slowly inched the door open as she screamed in pain. When he got to her, he was unable to lift her. He is far too weak himself from all the health issues he has had in the past year. They were in desperate trouble, and in the midst of it came the sound of the doorbell.

My Dad quickly went to open the door and there stood a big strapping six-footer of an exterminator man - there to do the quarterly spraying. He was able to help Dad and Mom and stayed with them until the ambulance arrived.

Some would say, "How lucky that he should arrive at just that moment."

We have said, "How good the Father was to send help before we could even ask."

We have had much to be thankful for over the course of these days, dedicated, compassionate nurses,a skilled surgeon, friends who have prayed and offered words of encouragement, made visits and prepared meals, and most of all a God who never fails to do good and love us extravagantly.

There are other things, so many other things, to be thankful for:

- the miracle of renewed life; I almost gave up on this poor little shamrock. At one time it was a full, beautiful plant, but one day it began to droop and lose its leaves. It got down to seven little leaves - a rather hopeless case - but I decided to give it one more chance.

- here it is today with more beautiful blooms that it has ever had before - a picture of hope and the belief that God makes all things new.

- I never can seem to do a gratitude post without including flowers. I love them!! It takes my breath away to look closely at the impossibly beautiful blooms.

-the miracles we see all around us, if we only have eyes to see. I nearly missed this little nest as I was taking my walk. It reminds me of the constancy of the Lord - spring always following winter, birds returning home and building nests to prepare for new life. How can we possibly fail to see the hand of a Divine Creator?

- my crown of thorns plant - especially poignant at this time of year. I cannot help but be reminded of what Jesus did for me.

- the thorns are cruel, but the tiny flowers are a reminder of the shed blood and the beauty of a Savior laying down His life that we might be saved.

"And they dressed Him up in purple, and after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on Him..."
Mark 15:17

"We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us;..."
I John 3:16

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."
John 15:13

This is the place where we gather to give thanks to One who loves us and gave His life for us.