Monday, November 22, 2004

healing grace

I am reminded way too often that we, as a culture, are “thanks-challenged.” Instead of seeing the things all around us to be thankful for, we tend to notice all the things we wish were different. All the things we want. And all those “wants” and all those “wishes” can all too easily spiral into a black hole of greed. Greed always wants more. It's never enough. Acts of love and kindness don't seem to stick. What you do is never good enough. The greedy are never satisfied.

But thankfulness is like a wellspring. It gives life instead of demanding more out of life. Thankfulness contributes rather than criticizes. A child-like sense of unexpectedness pushes away that insatiable sense of entitlement. Thankfulness births generosity in our hearts, and generosity is like a healing balm rubbed onto every life it touches. A thankful, grateful heart is a whole heart.

To nurture healing grace in my own life, I want to take a few minutes to give thanks and to invite you to be thankful with me. And I hope, as you read these words, that thankfulness and generosity spring up in your heart and that it pours out on those all around you!

I’m thankful for…

> a wife who loves everyone around her
> three kids who are sometimes sprinting, and sometimes stumbling, but faithfully moving towards God
> family and friends whose incredible generosity allows us to stay on mission
> friends who give more than they take
> teammates who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me
> the integrity in the lives of those who lead me
> the wholeness I see forming in the lives of those I lead
> the lessons I’ve learned in my failures
> neighbors who have opened their doors and their hearts
> an inviting B&B in Pretoria and the cozy 4-floor downtown apartment building in Glasgow to base our life-on-life ministry
> the expanding influence God is giving us
> books which open my mind and heart and take me to new places
> sports…especially those I can still play!
> music that lifts my spirit
> an intimate, loving, ever-present God
> the incarnation
> the courage I see in others
> acts of sacrifice
> hope
> you

How about you? What are you thankful for? Write it out. Say it out loud. Tell someone. Share the grace.