He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

16 November 2011

But for the grace of God...

as i laid my head down on my pillow tonight i realized that too much of my day had gone by without communing with God.
i rarely have days where i am satisfied with the level of our interaction
in the midst of all of the storm chaos of the last weeks, i realized how grateful i am for the blessings He has given me but also realized that i tend to put more into the gifts He gives rather that the giver Himself.

let me back up a little..
we are reading Job in CBS right now and one of the themes that i can't seem to shake is that God was trying to illustrate to Job that He was all Job needed and that even if all the gifts were stripped away, he still had his Heavenly Father.
our small group was asked to explain why we worship God and as i tried to answer the question i realized that all the things i came up with were about what God DID for me or GAVE me and not simply because He is who He is.
He is loving... that is something He shows me.
He is merciful...
He died on the cross...
He saved me from an eternity apart from Him...
all things He has DONE for me and not simply because He is who He is.

okay, back to tonight...
as i started my nightly "goodnight God" prayer, i began to think through all the blessings He has placed in my life. the amazing man who is snoring next to me, the beautiful babies who are asleep across the hall, the warm home, the comfortable bed, the tasty, healthy food in my belly, another day of not knowing need...
once again, i was thanking God for what He has DONE FOR me and what He GIVES me.
so i tried to change it up a little and thank God for who He is.
He is merciful. He is loving. He is gracious. He is forgiving. He is generous. He is good.
and as i created this list, another thought hit me.
it's so easy to come up with a list of "good things" in God's character but the Bible tells us that God IS good and He IS love. God, in very nature, is the existence of these "good things". They aren't merely a bi product of His existence, they are who He is.
i began to see, for the first time that,  without God, the world as a whole would not know these qualities in any form.
God is merciful and without Him the world would not know what mercy is. 
God is loving and without Him this world would not know what love is.
God is good and without God the world would not know what goodness is.
a world without God would not be simply "blah", it would be horrific. there wouldn't simply be a balance of good and bad. Without Him, there is no good.
i took it just one step further and looked at myself.
i know that there is nothing redeeming about me without the grace of God but i do know that any quality which is pleasant to be around is a direct product of knowing Him and without Him I AM NOTHING.

praise the Lord for who He is!

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