Tonight was amazing, and God is so good. I'll tell you what. I love my church. And, and oh goodness, well I don't even know how to start this blog so I'm just gonna kind of go for it.
First, there was an amazing quote about giving thanks and Thanksgiving by Abraham Lincoln that Pastor Jeff read at church tonight and I've looked for the last twenty or so minutes and I can't find one that includes all of what was read, but if I can put that up later, I will. And I realized that the lyrics to Come Thou Fount are incredible. He was talking about how we go to God with things and ask him to come through and then he does and then later we do it again and he comes through again, and that goes on and sometimes we forget to really thank God for all the things he does in our lives, all the ways he blesses us.
He referenced a pretty cool place in 1 Samuel (7:2-17) where the Israelites have been really comfortable with all the ways God has blessed them and start to turn away from him and they're worshiping these idols and all of that. And Samuel comes in and says that if they're really going to return to the Lord with all their hearts, they can't serve the other gods anymore, they can only serve him. So they do that and all gather together at Mizpah to worship him and right around that time the Philistines decide they're coming after them again and long story short, Samuel's praying for them, he doesn't even stop, and God saves them in a crazy way. So after that, Samuel says that they should remember that moment, and so they build a monument to acknowledge and thank God for what he did for them.
So I tend to swing back and forth on the things. This is true in general, but especially so in God stuff, and slowly I'm becoming more consistent. One of the ways I'm still trying to get there is being thankful for the things he does for me. If I think about stuff, I'll be thankful in that moment, but I'm not thankful all the time, and I'll go whole stretches without saying, look at these things you have done for me, God! Thank you for blessing me and growing me and teaching me and bringing me closer to you all the time. One of my favorite verses, Psalm 30:11-12, which I put up the other day, says:
You tuurned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed
me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be
Oh Lord my God, I wil give you thanks
Oh Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. Forever. Man. I love that, and the thing is, I totally want that. I want to be forever thanking my God.
We came home after church, Alicia and I and our friends Matt and Chris, and we were intending to pray about the evangelism thing we've got coming up (this Thursday! yikes! so close!) and we ended up having this crazy amazing talk about the message, talking about all the things God has done in our lives. And he has done so much. I was going to do a post over Thanksgiving, because I've never actually done one and for various other reasons, the obligatory I-am-thankful-for post, and I just ended up not doing it. The driving home post was forefront, but I'm wondering now if it's not too late.
Lately, I feel like God's been doing a lot of pointing out places in me in which he could be bigger, he could be better glorified. There's been a lot of reevaluating and reorganizing and a lot of putting a-shaped things through b-shaped places, and it'd go on way too long to get into now, but it's pretty awesome. It's hard, but it's good, it's God. And I'm so thankful for it.
There's a ton more I'm thinking about. There are the big things, the things where he's done the life-changing things, and in those places I've learned some of who he is, how he is. He's my rescuer, my father. He's hope for new life, redemption, and he's endlessly, infinitely good. And I'm learning more now about his grace, about how he is graceful, and it won't come easily but it is coming, and I'm understanding more, seeing more.
Whatever this is, I am thankful for it, and even if I'm still getting there, learning and growing and all of that, God is consistent and he's bringing me more and more toward him, and that's certainly something to be thankful for.
Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love...
O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.
(from Come Thou Fount)