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blessed be the name of the Lord

we were driving home from lunch listening to some good country music on the way... you know, the songs that say stuff like:

"got a little bit of chicken fried. cold beer on a friday night. a pair of jeans that fit just right. and the radio up."or this one: "i got a roof over my head. the woman i love layin' in my bed... i got shoes under my feet... i got all i need, and it's alright by me."

it got me thinking about how we have some pretty incredible things to be thankful for. that i shouldn't take one little thing for granted. the lunch i just ate and the car i'm comfortably riding in. the husband who loves me and the daughter sleeping peacefully in her carseat behind me. and so. much. more. and then i began to think about how God promises to provide our every need, yet we worry and stress over the silliest [sometimes not so silly] things. i just couldn't help but wonder that while He does promise to provide for our every need and care for every detail of our lives, what does that really mean?

does He promise a roof over our head, really?
does He promise a nice Sunday lunch or even three meals a day?
does He promise the car payments and the electric bills and the christmas presents will be paid for?
what about an iPad or a camera or a new car or a cabinet full of craft supplies?
i mean, seriously.

i know God loves me. lavish and unfailing. He loves the orphan in Africa and the sex slave in Cambodia, too. i wonder then, am i really promised that God will provide all of the things that i claim as needs? or am i missing something?

on that same car ride home, we got a call that a friend from high school had been killed in a car accident a few days ago. it's almost exactly two years after another friend and classmate was killed in a car accident.

we're not even promised a tomorrow, friends.

i didn't want for this post to become so depressing, but i'm forced to evaluate the things that i see as necessities, that i put under the category of "promises" or "entitlements". what really are we promised? if we are in Christ, we are promised eternal and full life, regardless of circumstance or hardship, what we do or don't believe we should have. much beyond that we have not been promised and we would be careful not to presume that we have been.

i can't very easily reconcile the starving naked orphan if i believe God has promised clothing and food and shelter to those He loves. does He not love the orphan? i can't very easily reconcile the idea of the battered and abused girl who is traded as a sex slave, if i believe that God has promised a temporal sort of security and safety from all harm for those He loves. does He not love the girl? and then i think of my friends who haven't even lived to see their 27th birthdays and i wonder why i assume that i am guaranteed my next breath. does He not love my two friends? [you know the answer is yes to those three questions. yes, He does love them all.]

these are hard things to think about. and all i can do is thank Him for what He has given me, recognize it as abundant and lavish Grace, nothing that i have ever deserved or earned, and resolve again not to become complacent.

borrowing from a post i wrote a few months ago:

just remember that it's all Grace, friends. every moment that you are allowed another breath, and yes, even the moment when those breaths will cease forever, is lavish, undeserved, mind-blowing Grace, no matter the circumstances that might surround you... don't get used to it. your running water. your full pantry. Jesus Himself. the privilege of seeking God's face at any given moment. your gifts and talents, whatever they may be. your church, however large or small. and millions of other things that we take for granted [and even grumble about] each day... it's all Grace. a free gift. abundant manifold blessing, that we neither deserved nor earned. 

He loves me as He loves the orphan and the girl and my two friends. He gives and takes away and i will praise Him for it all. what about you?




Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;

Blessed be the name of the LORD.


Comments

  1. oh man. speak it. that was a great, great reminder. thanks for your honest, soul searching words.

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  2. yes, thanks for this reminder, aly! praying for you. blessings to you as th begin a fresh new week! xo

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  3. i am so sorry to hear about your friend. sending ya'll some prayers.

    popping in to say hello to the other sugar babies! yeah blog sugar!

    i'm hosting a july giftaway - anthropologie pillow and some goodies! i hope you'll enter!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautiful post. I read this yesterday and I thought I had commented already, but I guess not.
    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. It's such an odd and lonely feeling, losing someone we love. You are so right that we are not guaranteed tomorrow! It makes me want to be thankful for every day I do have.
    Just earlier today I was going through a mental list of all the things I'm thankful for. It's a good habit.

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  5. So sad to hear about Colby! I honestly cant stop thinking about it. Definitely reminds us how fragile and short life can be; and how much we take for granted (including the people we love). so sad.

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  6. I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately, especially since we've been given so much and others have so little. I know we have a great responsibility to help those less fortunate than us, but thanks for this reminder. Everything is a gift! So beautifully and concisely put! Thank you.

    -Ania
    mcdonnell418.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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