I've been thinking a lot today about a friend.
I guess I should say a friend I used to have.
Someone who chooses not to be a part of my life any more.
Somebody I miss very much.
I've been remembering 'the good old days'.
Thinking about the happy times we shared.
The following is something I blogged a few months ago.
It is a reminder I need today as I offer the happy memories back to the One who gave them to me in the first place.
A few weeks ago, I blogged about the book Holding onto Hope by Nancy Guthrie. One of the things she writes about is Job's attitude of submission & worship when, one by one, he lost the possessions & people he loved.
"God gives, and God takes away. But, let's be honest. We just want him to give, don't we? And we certainly don't want him to take away the things or the people we love.
We tend to think the money in our bank accounts and the possessions we have are ours . . . But the truth is, everything we have is a gift. . . What are you holding on to so tightly that you would blame God if he took it away tomorrow?
Job recognized that everything he had was a gift from God, and he had learned how to hold on to those gifts loosely. Evidently Job, long ago, figured out that his extreme wealth and blessing not only came from God, it was still God's, and he was just a steward."
Several times in this chapter of her book, Nancy uses the phrase "the proper response to a gift is gratitude". This is something I struggle with! I'm working on it, but I'm sure not there. This is a hard thankfulness! It's hard to be thankful to God for things you don't have anymore.
It's hard to say,
as I mourn over the pain of being rejected by a friend:
"Thank you that, for a time, I had the joy of their friendship".
It's hard to go through the awkwardness and loneliness
of attending an unfamiliar church
and worship God that, for a time,
we were able to be a part of a church that truly felt like family.
It is s.o h.a.r.d
and I've got to admit that even as I'm trying to say 'thank you' in these moments, I don't always FEEL very thankful. I cherished those gifts and I want them back! But here's the heart attitude I'm striving for::
"When you come to the place where you recognize that everything you have and everyone you love is a gift, it becomes possible to enjoy those gifts not with an attitude of greed, but gratitude. You and I, like Job, know that God gives and God takes away. And when he takes away, if we're able to focus on the joy of what was given, if only for a time, we take another step down the pathway toward the heart of God. Appreciating God's gifts, we come to the place where we can simply say, "Thank you." - Excerpts from Holding onto Hope by Nancy Guthrie
Hard Thanks Giving -- RE-POST from 11-19-09