Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

It's trite but until I can process anything "life-related" on a deeper level, I just need to write today. Period.

Admittedly I've found it energizing this year to read the slews of tweets and Facebook statuses about what others are thankful for this year, and I've wanted to jump on the bandwagon. Personally I think that if you have something to say that can't be done in 140 characters or less then it doesn't belong on Twitter or Facebook. It belongs on a blog. I digress...

The book of Acts says that "in Him (Jesus) we live and move and have our being...for we are indeed His offspring". This is what comes to mind when I think about what I'm most thankful for: the Gospel (literally, good news). I belong to God! Because of Jesus' work on the cross I am alive in Him and not even my repeated mistakes or dismal character will change that. Read: I should be dead, but the Lord is merciful in that He's covered my sin so I 1) don't have to die and 2) can have His life, which is far more sufficient than my own.

I've been engaged for 7 months, I'm getting married in 1 month, and we've only been doing real wedding planning for less than 3 months. Needless to say that for someone like me who struggles to keep a consistent rhythm in life, this season of life has certainly been no exception. I've struggled most of all in keeping consistent fellowship with the Lord during this time. Yet, as much as I've failed to "play by the rules" God has arguably never felt nearer.

Truthfully, what I've struggled with most the last few months is resenting this period of engagement because in foresight it has only proven costly. If we're already committed to each other and to Christ, then what's the point of the financial strain, excess travel, and sexual tension, among other things? What am I gaining?

"Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 10:39)

Perhaps my focus has been in the wrong place. My focus has been on gain (i.e. gaining a wife) when living the Gospel is really about emptying ourselves. At that point we make room for God in our lives, and at THAT point...He does things! When He does things, people notice. For us, following our desire for marriage (and God's) has created an abundance of needs in our lives. As for me, the amazing thing is that lately 90% of the time I haven't honestly stopped to pray for God to do this or that, but He has anyway. All I've done is believed Him, watched trust turn into peace, and watched Him meet my needs like He said He would to begin with. Things to be noticed? Strengthened relationships, money we don't have being provided, and two broken & imperfect human beings beginning to build something better than ourselves - essentially the grace & mercy of Jesus Christ - or, the Gospel.

Like I've said before, Thanksgiving is just another day to me, though I do enjoy the extended weekend, extended food, and extended quality time. But for my soon-to-be wife; my upcoming marriage to her (with a lifetime of opportunity to lay my life down); walking with and having purpose in the God for whom and by whom I was created; the abundant abiding life we can have in Him through His perfect Son; and everything else that results; I am in a perpetual state of thankfulness.

I have everything I need in Christ. If I lose everything aforementioned, I have everything I need in Christ. This is the best news ever.

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