Changing… Whenever thwarted to Whatever lovely…

That awkward moment… when you realize you’re acting like a 5 year old because you can’t get your way… the project nixed and reputation discredited, slandered or at a minimum, marginalized…

Yesterday, driving home from the airport, God brought out a mirror and the reflection looking back was not very pretty. How does one truly rise above circumstances…taking flight, unfettered to soar in the clouds … to touch the face of God?

I read a little poem…just a wee bit of a poem this week and it was more than enough to guide this blind, mute and deaf renegade back to Gods truth.

Great and good things
“It is only by thinking about great and good things that we come to love them, and its only by loving them, that we come to long for them, and its only by longing for them, that we are impelled to seek after them, and its only by seeking after them that they become ours and we enter into vital experience with their beauty and blessedness”.
Henry van Dyke

So what are the good and great things am I to refocus toward, mid-flail and amidst pouting persona? Honorable things… true, pure, and lovely things… whatever things are such that beautify and set apart with a holy gravity (Philippians 4:8). Lovely…lovely is such a pretty word, but in this context it means amiable. Lovely things serve to cultivate and increase love, friendship, and amity among men; and which things also are grateful to God and lovely in his sight, in opposition to all contention, strife, wrath, and hatred.

I love a ‘lovely’ sunrise, a babbling brook, or a lovely mountain view with puffy white, cotton-candy clouds atop an azure sky, but evidently by the redundancy of behavior, I do not love a thankful heart, friendship or amity among men, preferring to dash friend and foe alike onto said cragged rocks, whenever thwarted. So how do we change whenever thwarted to whatever lovely?

We can’t, but God can “when in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving we let our requests be made known to him (Philippians 4: 7). In everything, “in every time”… always, constantly, every day, as often as there is opportunity and need requires. In every time… whether it be a physical or spiritual kind, relating to body or soul, to ourselves or others, to our families, relations, and acquaintance, the church, or the world.

In everything…Everything in reference to the supply of out wants, and the wants of your families; everything in respect to afflictions, embarrassments, and trials; and everything relating to our spiritual condition. There is nothing which pertains to body, mind, estate, friends, conflicts, losses, trials, hopes, fears, in which we may not go and spread it all out before the Lord.

And in everything with thanksgiving… for mercies received; for how can we come to the throne of grace, to ask for future mercies and not remember present and past mercies. I read a wonderful book about this time last year and I do think it is high time to pick it up again to refresh. It is called, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. If you are like me, you may have want of a download.

So when it comes down to it, we are back to Tozers’ prayer from the other day and the day before…back to where we started….

“O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more.
I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace.
I am ashamed of my lack of desire.
O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing;
I thirst to be made more thirsty still.
Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed.
Begin in mercy a new work of love within me.
Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.

Abba Father, “Begin in mercy a new work of love within me”. Let it begin today… in every time and let it begin with me.

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