Thursday, April 14, 2011

This day could not pass without a few words from the little corner of the world
that the Reynolds family takes up.
Today, April 14th, two thousand and eleven marks exactly one year since my honey's motorcycle accident.
And what do I have to say about that fact?

Only one thing.  We have indeed been carried by grace.

Our God is the One who weeps with us, when we weep.  He is indeed acquainted with grief.
As He weeps with us, He tenderly holds us.  Though He knows that the blessings will come, still He weeps.  He Himself is acquainted with pain and not just in passing or from a distance. 

As I have shared in the past, I read the commentary "a Slice of Infinity" each day. 
I highly recommend it.
Yesterday's offering was authored by my favorite, Jill Carattini.  It was entitled "Acquainted with Grief. "
She refers to a scene in one of C. S. Lewis' Narnia books.  A small boy had come in search of Aslan, the Great Lion, who is Jesus in lion form.   He is desperate, for you see his mother is dying.
Let me share the passage that Jill quoted from the book along with her comments.
"Please-Mr. Lion-Aslan, Sir?" said Digory working up the courage to ask.  "Could you-may I-please, will you give me some magic fruit of this country to make my mother well?" 
"...Digory, at this point in the story, had brought about much disaster for Aslan and his freshly created Narnia.  But he had to ask.  In fact, he thought for a second that he might attempt to make a deal with Aslan.  But quickly Digory realized the Lion was not the sort of person with which one could try to make bargains."
C.S. Lewis then recounts, "Up till then the child had been looking at the lion's great front feet and the huge claws on them.  Now in his despair he looked up at his face.  And what he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life.  For the tawny face was bent down near his own and wonder of wonders great shining tears stood in the lion's eyes.  They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the lion must really be sorrier about his mother than he was himself."
"My son, my son," said Aslan.  "I know.  Grief is great.  Only you and I in this land know that yet.  Let us be good to one another..."
Jill speaks of the immense comfort it is for her to know that Christ wasn't always smiling, how His fortitude unfastens her fear, and that His mercy frees her shame.  Above all when she reads of how He weeps and sweats drops of blood her own tears are given depth. 
Jesus Christ, God in human form brings validity to our own humanity.

The assurance that our God not only was and is with us, but also knows and feels our griefs and struggles has carried us through all of it.  It is not over for any of us, not until our final breathe. 
It is good to look back and recount our God's faithfulness.  Reminders help us continue to trust and to watch for and recognize evidence of His continuing grace.

Andree Seu writes for "World" magazine.  Each month I look forward to her column.  Her article in the April ninth edition is entitled "The Mouths of Babes."  She speaks of the power of praise.

All of us have enough concerns and struggles to occupy our every thought.  It is easy to go there, isn't it?  And every day will offer us something we could add to the list.  Just today our third son, Jonathan called to say that he needed a sonogram for a lump on his chest.  He's been meaning to get it checked.
Yet what will worry get us?  What will complaining get us? 
Not peace!  Not hope!  Not strength!  Not victory that will carry us through any and all of it!
When we get stuck there it encourages the enemy of our souls; it energizes him.  Loser that he is, he wants to take as many down with himself as possible.

Know what knocks him for a loop and down for the count?  Praise!
Our God inhabits the praise of His people and where our God takes up residence the enemy cannot.

However, apart from all we gain from giving our God praise, there is the fact that He is worthy to be praised. 
Simply because of who He is. 
Even if He didn't extend His grace to us.

But we don't have to separate it all out.  We do have the benefit of His grace and of His compassion.
So as I look back over the past three hundred and sixty-five days I rejoice in Him and give Him praise.
And as I look ahead I will praise Him, as I hold tightly to my Papa, who knows and shares in all that comes my way. 

"Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His Name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
S[peak of all His wonders.
Glory in His Holy Name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face continually.
Remember His wonders which he has done...."
Psalm One Hundred Five, verses one through five.

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