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What is good?  What counts as grace? What is the heart of God?
                                                                                   -Ann Voskamp
This post is going to come from a chapter I'm reading in Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts.  Anything that is italicized in this post comes from the book.
Lately, I've had a lot of decisions to make, decisions that seem so huge to me.  I've been doing a "wonderful" of job of trying to figure it out on my own, then of course, getting angry with God because He isn't doing exactly what I think should be happening.  And then, I sat down this morning to read more of my book and dear Ann was talking about perspective.  She writes about a time when she and her family drove past a house and saw a sign.  She wondered out loud why someone would have a sign in their yard but would make so people couldn't read it.  The next time they drove past that house, she had glasses on and could read the sign.  And it made me think, how often am I like that?  I'm going through life and I see signs but I can't read them.  Where is my perspective?  How can I get that perspective?
Every dark woods has words.  And every moment is a message from The Word-God who can't stop writing His heart.
But who can read His messages?
God is writing!  Every day from His heart, yet so often we fail to see.  What Ann wrote next was something I've always known, but it's so "hard" for me to always make time for this.
Only the Word is the answer to rightly reading the world, because the Word has nail-scarred hands that cup our face close, wipe away the tears running down, has eyes to look deep into our brimming ache, and whisper, "I know. I know."
Is that not just crazy awesome?  Reading God's word does all that!  Yet, many times the distractions of life start to weigh down on my heart and I simply give in to the pressures of life; it's easier, "less painful".  But, is it really less painful?
God has already planned EVERYTHING.  And yet still we try so hard to stay in control.  We fill our lives with either good or bad; we try to fill our lives with both sometimes.  But what is in our hearts will shine through.
"The eye is the lamp of the whole body.  So if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"  -Matthew 6:22,23  (ESV)
And sometimes, we become empty, and that can be so hard.  But, take the pain that is given, give thanks for it, and transform it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness.  The hard discipline to give thanks for all things at all times because He is all good.   God is always good  and I am always loved.
I feel like none of this ties together very well, but that happens at times.
I want to leave you with this: Are your ways My ways, child?  Can you eat My manna, sustain on My mystery?  Can you believe that I tenderly, tirelessly work all for the best good of the whole world--because My flame of love for you can never, ever be quenched?



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