Thursday, June 16, 2016
Daily Guideposts 2016
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name ---- Psalm 103:1 (NAS)
Last summer I drove my mom and her neighbor Bubbles to dine with their friend Marybeth in her assisted-living community. Bubbles, at ninety, had vision impairment due to macular degeneration. Marybeth, at one hundred, shared the same problem. She asked Bubbles during our meal, “Do you ever get surprises when you eat?” Neither one of them could always tell what was on her plate.
Marybeth added something to our conversation that struck me so profoundly, it has rearranged my thinking. Commenting on her lost sight and all things lost—she’d been widowed twice—she remarked, “You can never be grateful enough until it’s gone.”
I try to be intentional about thanking God often for my blessings…to appreciate and savor them. But that day a dear person whose eyes were growing dim opened mine to a facet of gratitude I had never considered—grief.
Far from distancing me from God or showing a lack of faith, grief is a deep expression of thanksgiving for something or someone I am missing.
James 1:17 (NAS) says, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” When I grieve, I am acknowledging the “good thing given” and the One Who gave it.
Almost a year has passed since our luncheon. Marybeth is gone. Bubbles is gone. Mom and I miss them. But a wise centenarian who couldn’t quite see her food has explained our sorrow in a clear and comforting ay. We are expressing gratitude.
Accept my grief, Lord as a thanksgiving offering.
This is Carol Van Drie talking again—I too have made a conscious and intentional habit of thanking God often, all through the day, every day for my many blessings. Even during my darkest days of grieving for the loss of our granddaughter Kaylee, I always made a conscious effort to find something, anything, to tell the Lord how thankful I was and am. I’d do it often through tears, but I did it and still do.
My grief is a constant. Sometimes hurting my heart less than other times, sometimes more. However, I am coping and learning how to live with this new “companion” each day. Because of Jesus Christ and His mercy and grace, while the loss of our grandbaby can bring me to my knees, it is on my knees that I become stronger. It is because of Christ that I live and more importantly, it is because of Him I have a desire to live.
As I grieve, I am expressing appreciation to the Lord of all creation. So comforting to know this.
A wise centenarian not only passed on her Godly wisdom to a woman who eloquently wrote about the imprint she made on the author’s life, but this wisdom has now passed on to me. I have a newer understanding and actual appreciation for the many layers of grief. And I am most profoundly grateful.