For those of you whom I forgot to tell, Jayla and I have traveled home for Thanksgiving. It’s our first real trip home for the holidays since living in Colorado. Jayla was laughing at me as we were descending out of the clouds on our approach for landing in Atlanta. Like a little kid, I had my face glued to the window (which was challenging because I wasn’t sitting in the window seat). I couldn’t believe that all the trees still had leaves on them— and all the flat land! The perspective that you gain from above is incredibly captivating. I found myself trying to look and see if I could see any defining features that would point me toward looking home. I was really excited. So much so that I think I might have embarrassed Jayla a bit.
Seeing life from 10,000 feet shows you things you didn’t even know you hadn’t seen (provided you don’t have too much cloud cover). Sometimes I’ve wondered if God has this kind of perspective on us. I’m not portraying a God who lives far up there somewhere and seems disconnected from us. Instead, I believe God is so connected to us that He can see our lives from both our perspective and His own at the same time. He knows what we are seeing, what we don’t see that he sees, and most importantly, what we need to see next. I would love to see creation and life from His view— but until then, I will stick with airplane rides.
Wouldn’t it be great if that person who can see what we see and what we can’t, who also happens to have infinite wisdom and life experience, could give us hints in life? Oh wait— He can! Through his Word, good preaching, prayer, communities of faith, and a friendship with Jesus we gain even more than the occasional hints. God is the ultimate guide in the adventure called life. As we can see, God has already gone pretty far to be a part of our lives— but then there are people like me who need a bit more direction than others. Because He loves me, I think God goes to great lengths to remind me of His presence and provision in my life. Like a shepherd with a sheep that just keeps getting stuck in the hole….
Today was one of those days that God gave me a little more direction by pulling me out of the hole and reminding me to be thankful. My dad and I took a drive this afternoon to visit my uncle and aunt. Without going into too much detail, my aunt has been sick for a long time and has already outlived the doctor’s best guesses (and, by the way, does not seem to be slowing down!). The entire time we were visiting I couldn’t believe my aunt’s consistent thankfulness. She seemed so content to eat, talk, and simply be with us. Coming from a person for whom contentedness is a challenge, I was amazed. Later, I read Colossians 3:15. It says, ”Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” WABAAM! Thankfulness. Contentedness. Peace. Joy. Happiness. All of a sudden I see that these qualities I admire in my aunt and that all of us are searching for aren’t a matter of some sort of ‘life wisdom’. They are a result of my aunt’s friendship with Christ.
As we enter Thanksgiving with many things we are thankful for and some things we would be thankful to forget, let’s try and remember that Jesus loves us, lives with us, and when He ‘rules in our hearts’ He produces peace, unity, and thankfulness.
PS Know that both Jayla and I are very thankful for all of you. I hope you all are getting tons of snow!