Have you every had one of those seasons when things—life—doesn’t seem to be working? You are striving and working hard for things to work out a certain way, and it’s not working at all. Christmas is a season in which all the busyness, chores, and shopping seem to interrupt the things that are truly important. Preparing our hearts for advent, cultivating our prayer life, developing a life in the Word. These are the important things that we should be focusing on. That is why I am so thankful for His grace; which gives me the strength to do what I cannot do in my own power. He wants us to stop striving and to begin thriving. We thrive when we spend time with Him and in His Word, and communicating with Him in prayer. Stop striving and start thriving.
Ten things I am grateful for today:
1. His grace that empowers and strengthens me.
2. His provision—He always takes care of me and my family; a roof over my head, a car to drive; food on the table.
3. His sovereignty—no matter how much I strive, He helps to thrive instead when I abide in Him and focus on the things that I need to.
4. His calling and His gifting on my life, though I feel inadequate, His gifts and calling are irrevocable (Rom. 11:29).
5. I am thankful for the Christmas season, that brings joy and anticipation in my heart for the things of God. This is a hard one for me.
6. I am thankful for His Spirit who reveals to me habits and mindsets that I need to change.
7. I am thankful for a particular friend that the Lord graced me with years ago who faithfully prays for me.
8. I am thankful for an encouraging word at the right moment from someone I least expected to hear from.
9. I am thankful for another gift; someone who is praying and fasting for me until I see a breakthrough in my life, in obedience to His Spirit.
10. I am thankful for this cute little Christmas farmhouse that you see in the pictures. My sister brought it back from Texas for me, and when I see it, it makes me smile.
God travels wonderful ways with human beings, but he does not comply with the views and opinions of people. God does not go the way that people want to prescribe for him; rather, his way is beyond all comprehension, free and self-determined beyond all proof. Where reason is indignant, where our nature rebels, where our piety anxiously keeps us away: that is precisely where God loves to be. There he confounds the reason of the reasonable; there he aggravates our nature, our piety—that is where he wants to be, and no one can keep him from it. Only the humble believe him and rejoice that God is so free and so marvelous that he does wonders where people despair, that he takes what is little and lowly and makes it marvelous. And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas
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