The ink with which these beautiful truths have been written is oozing off the pages and onto everything in me.
My fingers dance on the keys, and leave black marks and ‘foot’ prints on the keyboard. I wipe my brow and rest my head in my palm, leaving smudges on my face as a reminder of how beautiful humility is.
Another excerpt from the book I mentioned in my last post:
” Eucharisteo [in the context of the last supper] – greek for ‘He gave thanks’ or ‘thanksgiving’.
Charis – greek for ‘grace’ ( as in euCHARISteo )
Chara – greek for ‘joy’ ”
This chara joy, charis grace and eucharist thanks make up for the triplet constellation that hangs in the backdrop of our dark earthy circumstances.
With these three lights flickering in the dark, they light the way for us to fully experience what our (humans/humanity) original purpose for existence was supposed to be like.
If you haven’t noticed by now, these three things (joy, grace and thankfulness) are very dim components in most everybody’s role as a human.
We choose sin over righteousness, flesh over spirit and lies over truth every day.
The constellation of peace is there for everyone. It is just often out shined by other focuses and faulty beliefs. Its not that she doesn’t shine bright enough, its just that the other planets and stars we’ve let in our personal solar systems crowd out the truth; the True light.
We become our center focus thus everything around us becomes incurably out of balance.
Turning from one thing we are voluntarily turning towards another. That other is usually self.
It always boils down to choice: who are you going to serve/love/trust?
It is not chance that these words are related. They are so closely knit because this family of words (charis, chara euchrist) are the missing concept of this world–their void is the direct result of the fall.
To be even more specific, ingratitude was exactly what plagued the earth in the Garden.
Satan implied that God was withholding something from them; that there was something more that they could have:
“…Then the serpent said to the woman ” You will not surely die, for God knows that in the days you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil…” Genesis 3:4
To be like God- they weren’t content with being His precious creation? Not to mention being totally set apart from everything else he had put on earth and crafted in His own image? They weren’t content with the luxurious beauty of paradise: perfect communion with God our creator and total access and liberty to everything?
Everything of course, excluding that one tree.
Ann continues in the chapter about eucharisteo :
“If our fall was the non-eucharisteo, the ingratitude, then our solution must be immediately related to eucharisteo, the giving of thanks. ”
“He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.” Psalms 50:23
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“Therefore, as you receive Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7
Further more, I’d like to point out that when one gives thanks to God, you are agreeing with God that you are not to credit for whatever ‘it’ is you’re thankful for. You are agreeing with your inability and praising Him for is ability (and love and care toward you mere human).
All of that is really going on when you say “Abba, Father, thank you”.
“When pride comes then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2
“Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches, honor and life.” Proverbs 22:4
“He has shown you O Mortal what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” Micha 6:8
“God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things- and the thing that are not- to nullify the things that are so that no one may boast before him.” 1 Corinthians 1:28-29
“Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 15:33
“Who is wise and understand among you? Le them show it by their good life, in deeds done by the humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13
“Blessed are the humble, for they shall inherit the earth…” Matthew 5:5-15
It is the humility in human hearts that God pours insight and blessings into. Blessed are the humble, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Blessed blessed blessed are who don’t think less of yourself (because you are of great worth), but who think of themselves less.
Blessed are you who minimize the thoughts of man to magnify the truth of God. And to live the truth of God is to Love God. To love God is to obey Him (1st John).
And then there is chara: Joy
The secret of Joy is that it is consequential. You’re not supposed to just be joyful. Joy is the hidden gift. It is invisible. It hides in the inhale after you’ve exhaled you’re gratitude and praise.
You may find yourself enamored by the purity of a child (son or sibling) helping the weak one untangle his limbs from the trike, chalk dust mixed with blood, a stain gladly shared. In that moment, you lift up that scene with thanks, and sharing in the beauty of that pure heart, joy settles in your heart as a remnant of praise.
“Now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies around me. I will offer sacrifices of joy in his tent. I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to Yahweh.” Psalm 27:6
“…and the ransomed of Yahweh shall return, and come with singing to Zion; and everlasting joy shall be on their heads: they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isaiah 35:10
“I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7
“The prospect of the righteous is joy, But the hope of the wicked will perish.” Proverbs 10:28
“…For the JOY of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.” Nehemiah 8:10
“Is the height of my chara joy dependent on the depth of my eucharisteo ? ”
I contemplate this simple phrase.
Let these words brew in my brain.
And now state an eloquent: Yes.
In part of my new reading, I will conclude at the end of the next however many blog posts with some named joys (e.g. one thousands gifts in my life).
The concept of this practice (naming the good things in your life-and knowing that every good thing comes from Him) is to drive out the old rusty nails (habits) of ingratitude with the sharpened clean nails of eucharisteo.
By consciously naming things that you love about life, you are truly subconsciously confirming the many ways that God loves you; that He is alive, active and invested in your life.
I don’t want you to miss the big picture though: this exercise is not for my gratification. By magnifying the things and thoughts of God I aim to reflect Him to the world.
To contrast the world: be light in the darkness.
And yes, I believe obedience reaps peace and joy, but my aim is not to have a comfortable cushy lets-hold-hands-and-sing-koombya- sort of testimony. My aim is to glorify God. Point blank. This practice (gratitude) is about changing my paradigm so I can better reflect Christ.
And yes, consequentially I will be happier. (Isaiah 48:17-18)
Plus, having any combination of joy, peace and contentment drastically contrasts this world of discontentment, greed and fear. So, your happiness is powerful evidence of God at work in human hearts in a world so brutally beaten with lies and weary with unbelief.
That in mind:
The same fingerprints that are on creation are on your heart– the heart that beats when autumn gusts breath through the door and raptures your body with his freshness. The heart that claps along with heavens when they orchestrate the song to which the raindrops dances from the sky onto your thirsty face. The same hand that made the mountains and its inhabitants made this body and this heart and these eyes and these ears. And with this mouth I want to proclaim His goodness.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17
Naming the gifts for what they are (that is, gifts from God) and thanking Him for peppering you with them concretes that new attitude of gratitude in your heart.
It is a choice.
Its an action.
It isn’t passive or unintentional.
Soon (if you are consistent with your search for goodness and returning thanks to God for it) the mundane thoughts of darkness in this present age with be very mightily over shadowed by joy and peace: the two emotions we were crated to carry from the beginning.
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
The Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
Who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you by the way you should go.
Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
Thank You Father for the details in my life that illuminate Your goodness. Thank you that this paradigm change is a process and that joy is accumulative. Thank you for these tangible tokens of your love tucked in the small things. Thank you for the call to live moment by moment, embracing Your goodness one gratitude at a time. Open my eyes to all that You are so I might return praise to You in the fullness that You deserve.
Now for the things…
1. My heartbeat; the many songs that it sings.
2. Shattered crystal scattered across the cold dark night.
3. Dew kissed daisies.
4. My spiral hair and all of its frizz and fluff.
5. Tear drops that quench my dehydrated soul.
That is all for now. I’ll keep logging and be sure to include an excerpt form my hopefully every growing gratitude list.
I’d love to connect with you on this topic of gratitude. Please leave comments of some gifts that you’ve named in your life. I like hearing what ya’ll have to say.
Your kingdom come and Your will be done..come Lord Jesus… thank you for the beauty in between.
It is never about me, but always about You.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another,forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:12-17