Thursday, August 20, 2009

Experiencing Amazement

Experiencing Amazement
My nose is cold.
My cheeks feel frozen.
My forehead is still dotted with snowflakes…my hair is wet.
It is windy. It is cold. It is dark. It feels as though winter is upon us as snowflakes flurry through the night air…
And I have been walking.
Bundled deep in a heavy coat, a thick scarf, big black boots and my new Isotoner gloves…
Nick insisted. "You need to keep your fingers warm this winter."
For all he does to pain me…stretching the ligaments of my wounded fingers, pulling, bending, pressing, pushing, hurting while showing no mercy, "Have you broken out in a sweat yet?"
And yet he insists that I have the best, the warmest gloves I can find for the winter ahead…amazing!

But that is not where my amazement begins…
Alone in the cold and the dark I am amazed that I do not experience fear, or loneliness in my aloneness, and that every empty place in my heart is filled with Your Presence…In Your Presence is the fullness of JOY. I am amazed by Your love.

And yet I am consumed with thoughts… of others…
I am reading The Heavenly Man…the story of one particular Chinese Christian who has known all manner of persecution-to the point of releasing his spirit to You-believing that he was truly dying and yet he lives to give witness; to testify; to speak the gospel of Jesus Christ for another day…and I am shamed.

In the cold, considerably warmer than many in this world, I think of him and the nights he has spent on the run, avoiding the authorities in the wilderness of winter or the nights he has attempted to sleep on cold-floored prison cells, with little to wear; barefoot, shivering, sick and beaten to within inches of his life.

And how prone am I to complain about the heat. About the cold. About the rain. About the snow. About the cloudiness. Your Patience with me amazes me! Forgive me LORD, for every word I have uttered of complaint. Every grumbling thought or attitude….

And as I view the night stars…You know them each by name…just as you do Your children, wherever we are and whatever our circumstances and I wonder how it is that I am so blessed with such comfort while so many suffer day in and day out…

And yet this "Heavenly Man" considers himself honored to suffer for the sake of Christ; to share in His sufferings, to daily carry the cross…and he is blessed…

Oh, LORD…I don't know what the future holds, I simply know this…may every moment of my future be about You…and in Your Presence. And may I continue to be amazed by You! Not by this world or anything in it…but by You!

And may gratitude, rather than grumbling and complaint, flow freely from my lips….

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