Monday, April 25, 2011

Becoming grateful... An empty tomb. A full heart.

In the wake of Holy Week and Easter, I am reminded of the humbling beauty of Christ's life, the tragic pain of his death, and the glorious joy of his resurrection.

Sometimes it is easier for me to think of the divine aspects of Christ... his perfection and holiness, sinlessness and power.  I diminish his humanity.  And it's when I minimize his human qualities that I also diminish his role in my life.  

I forget that he understands my pain because he was human, too.  He knows what it feels like to be tempted, because he was tempted, too.  He understands the pressure to meet others' expectations, because everyone put pressure on him.  He understands the sharp pain of betrayal, because his closest friends betrayed and denied him in the very moments when companionship was most needed.  He has felt the pains of hunger and known the weakness that comes with sleepless nights.  
He felt the human things of life, and he dealt with imperfect humans.  He was in this world of brokenness just like I am.

He understands.
He hears my heart, and nothing is lost on him, because he was once here, too.

By his earthly humanity, he gives his comfort when I ache.
By his understanding, he gives undeserved grace when I err.   
By his voluntary death, he gives this sinner hope.  
By his resurrection from the grave, he gives me life and eternity.

God emptied the tomb to give me a full heart, and my gratefulness can never fully be expressed in words or prayers or deeds.  

"To read His message in the moments, I'll need to read His passion on the page; wear the lens of the Word, to read His writing in the world.  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."  The passion on the page is a Person, and the lens I wear of the Word is not abstract idea but the eyes of the God-Man who came and knows the pain." 
~Ann Voskamp~

I am continuing my count of God's gifts in my life... Here are a few from this past week:

389... Packages from Mom
390... Cracker Barrel Sour jelly eggs.... the. best. ever.
391... Painting!
392... Running with Darcy
395... The Resurrection
396... Finding a rawhide hidden in my pants... (I wonder who put that there??)
397... Darcy "bopping" me with her nose as she follows me around
398... Easter basket skype date with Mom and sister
400... A single daffodil
402... New ESV Bible
404... Easter "box" of goodies (sorry about the scary/over-excited face...)
406... Easter grass in puppy beard
407... Self-timed pictures with the "Easter box" (at the request of little sister) and Darcy
410... The mentorship of a professor
412... Bittersweet endings
416... Darcy and her dragon

And this pictures is an oldie... but definitely a goody.

I hope everyone had a blessed Easter!  

And a special thank you to all of the sweet people who have commented on my cross painting.  Y'all are such an encouragement, and I honestly didn't expect such a great response!  I wish I could paint crosses for each of you!!!  Stay tuned for the announcement of the winner next Friday. 


Anonymous said...

What beautiful opening thoughts...thank you for sharing those reminders...I think we can all appreciate hearing them afresh.

Lovely list and great pics of self! Love Darcy too...for a minute I was wondering just who this Darcy was...course I love Pride and Prejudice, so anytime I hear Darcy...I'm wondering. =)

Have a beautiful week!

The Rocky Creek Scotties said...

Keep on being thankful - it's always there, sometimes we just have to look for it.