Monday, February 14, 2011

He's In the Circumstances - Gratitude

It is a rare delight to find novels that speak eloquently of spiritual things. Stories with characters that are real - sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, always growing in wisdom and grace. We close the book with regret but with a knowledge that we are richer for the experience.

I am rereading the Mitford Series by Jan Karon. I go back to them often thinking I'll just read one and end up reading all of them because I can't bear to say good-by to Father Tim and company. Every time I read them, there is something that speaks specifically to a need or a question in my own life.

The question of suffering the consequences of past sin, even after we are saved, came up in a conversation not too long ago. The person was agonizing over things done wrong in the past that might affect others - the consequences of wrong choices.

I was reading "In This Mountain" and came to a conversation between Father Tim and Buck Leeper. They were talking about Buck's wife whose past had been an agonizing struggle with abuse and alcoholism:

"It was the alcohol, of course. All those years..."

"Those years are behind you."

"Yeah, they are, thank God." Buck looked at him. "But you pay the consequences."

"True. But now God is in the consequences with you. Otherwise, you're in them alone, desperately alone."

There it was. It is true, there are consequences; but now there is nothing we must face on our own. Now there is grace, a loving Savior to walk with us, and His Spirit dwelling within our hearts.

I am thankful for such love and grace. He takes the brokenness of our past and makes all things new.

And thankful for so much more:

15 - delicate, abundant leaves of my ivy plant
16 - drops of water glistening on the dark purple of an eggplant
17 - the clouds parting to reveal blue sky
18 - the sound of the wind in the trees - like ocean waves
19 - red flowers on the Poinsettia - so vivid
20 - clouds like charcoal smudged across the evening sky, faintly tinged with pink
21 - the power of words set to music
22 - sunshine turning the long, brown grasses to gold
23 - a deer stretching in the morning air
24 - country roads
25 - pigeons lined up like sentinels on street signs
26 - first ray of sunshine falling across the quilt
27 - letter from a friend - sent by the Father
28 - the moon casing shadows over the front lawn
29 - thin, wispy clouds like feathers across the sky
30 - elderly couple dining out for Valentine's Day - she in a beautiful red jacket
31 - a Valentine bouquet

Linking my thanks with that of so many other grateful hearts at Ann's today.