"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Monday, November 23, 2009

giving thanks

We have so much to give thanks to our FATHER for. Some may look at us and say what? How can you say that? You are home from the mission field after only a year and you were planning on it being there maybe forever. Yes, that is true but we made some incredible relationships in that year. We were able to live out the love of Christ by ministering to many people and being ministered to by many. We are thankful that we were counted worthy to be called to serve our Lord in Zambia. Was it easy? NO! Was it worth it? YES! We give thanks not just for the good (that is easy) but also for the bad. I am sure there are some that right now are saying “WHAT? Give thanks for the bad?” Yes, giving thanks for the bad. I have begun trying to look at things from a different perspective. Picture a painting or tapestry or a cross-stitch that is not finished. In that work of art is your life in Christ; your faith lived out-the good, the bad and the ugly. Now when you look at the back side of the piece of work it does not look like much. In fact it might be kind of ugly. But remember you are only looking at one side of it. You have to turn it over to see how all the experiences of your life (good, bad, ugly) blended together to make a beautiful picture. At times it can be very difficult to do that but the reality is the MASTER is creating a masterpiece and it takes a life time.
In John chapter 15 it talks about being pruned to produce more fruit. There is a form of pruning called shock pruning. It is when you dig down to the roots and cut them and then you put fertilizer around them to get the vine to produce more fruit. I look at it this way: the bad and ugly stuff of life is the manure/fertilizer that can produce abundant fruit. That is what I see but it is also what I desire for my life and my family’s. So in that I can give thanks. Thanks for the bad because it can and will produce good abundant fruit that is pleasing to my FATHER.

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