14 Days of Gratitude–Days 7, 8 and 9

I am thankful for:
Day 1.  Jesus Christ
Day 2.  The Bible
Day 3.  My parents
Day 4.  My Grandmother
Day 5. God’s Holy Spirit
Day 6.  My nephews, Caleb and Joshua.

This is taking me longer than I thought it would so I am going to do multiple items today. 😀

Mandie and Mary

Mandie and Mary

The seventh thing I’m thankful for is my best friend, Mandie.  She has been my friend since the summer of 1990 when we worked together.  Yes, that’s right, we have been friends for 23 years.  We really are more sisters than friends, but the kind of family that you get to choose!  When we travel together we take time to be silly and I love that about Mandie–she doesn’t shy away from being silly together.  We understand eachother well enough that we don’t always have to end sentences or sometimes we will take up a conversation from earlier in the day and just effortlessly finish it hours later.  This really annoys her husband!

Thank-you, God, for my wonderful friend, Mandie!

The eighth thing I’m thankful for is my job.  I can’t say that I always enjoy the politics that comes with every job it seems but I really do love my job.  Not only does it support me financially but I get great fulfillment from it and have great opportunities to meet people and to help them.  This is such a great thing!

Thank you, God, that I have a job and that I love it so much.

The ninth thing I am thankful for is my beautiful home.  I have a non-leeking roof over my head that keeps me warm in winter and cool (mostly) in summer.  I live right on the running trails in my town and could run for hours in either direction from my home.  My friend, Mandie, helped with the interior design of my place and so it is beautiful, cosy and bright.

Thank you, God, that I have a safe and warm place to live.  Thank you that it is in a beautiful location and is close to where my friends live. What a gift, Father!

I could continue to praise You, God, all day for these precious gifts of Yours to me!

Thank-you!

Part 1: Pre-quel for Christians and Illness

So I promised on Twitter that my next post would be on Christians and Illness.  Well, I’m finding it a hard one to present properly–it’s a tough topic.  My friend suggested to me that perhaps I should split it into 2 posts, which was a great idea.  I’m not sure that this is exactly what I’m really doing…I think this post is more of a laying of the foundation for the next post.  A pre-quel, shall we say.  Yah.  Let’s give it a try.

So why illness?  Of all the trials in our lives, I think illness brings us to our knees the most painfully because it hits so close to home.  Think of Job.  God allowed Satan to attack his livestock, his servants and his family but his health was off limits.  22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.  (Job 1:22 NIV)

But Satan knows our failings…

4 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”  Job 2:4,5

So our health is a compelling weakness.

Even Christ had to overcome trauma to his body prior to and during his crucification.  In fact, this was part of the Plan.   8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation.”  Hebrews 5:8,9  He did suffer more than physically (betrayal, separation from God on the cross, etc) but I think it is evident that he must have suffered greatly from the physical abuse alone.

The suffering is what revealed his perfection to the world.  And he is our example…it’s not too surprising, therefore, that we also will find our health attacked.

Paul showed that he understood this in Colossians.  24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church.”  Colossians 1:24 NKJV

Really, to be honest, C.S. Lewis does a great job discussing why Christians have illness and suffering in his fab book, The Problem of Pain, so if you want to dig deeper into this issue and just can’t wait for my next post, this is where I would start.

Alright–3 things to remember:  1.  our health is a weak spot for us and Satan knows this.  2.  Christ experienced severe physical pain himself.  3. Christ walks through every minute of every day, through every painful moment, with you.

Footprints
By Margaret Fishback Powers

One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
one belonged to him and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of his life
there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened
at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he questioned the LORD about it.
“LORD, you said once I decided to follow you,
you’d walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why when I needed You the most
You would leave me.”

The LORD replied,
“My precious, precious child, I love you and would never leave you.
During your times of trials and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.”