Perspective makes so much difference

IMG_5760I mentioned a few blog posts ago that I am reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. I am nearly finished with the book, but not even close to finished with the journal I started as a result of the book. I bought this journal entitled Petals of Praise, which has truly been encouraging with its praise verses at the bottom of each page. So far I have recorded almost 190 gifts, things for which I am grateful. I have quite a ways to go to reach 1000, and I don't know if I will stop there. For it is not the counting of gifts that is the purpose, though that helps with the end goal. The purpose is to know Jesus in a greater way, to know His joy, to feel His heart, to praise Him even in the hard times, to search for eucharisteo, Joy, Grace, in a deeper, more meaningful way.

IMG_5765The thing is, I've known the Lord since I was eight years old, and when I was sixteen, He became more real to me through biblical fiction and my love of Scripture. But joy...and the fruit that comes from His Spirit...they aren't quite so easy to understand, to live, to find. Especially for a girl who has always had her glass half empty.

But Grace. God's gifts to us each day are wrapped up in ways we don't always see. We miss the moments to thank Him. We forgo the sacrifice of praising Him because in our human pride we really do prefer to take the glory for ourselves. (I dare say we all know that's true.)

But if not for His grace, His unmerited favor, who would I really be? Where would I be? What would I be?

Those are the questions of seekers, and Christians seek. Some say people without the Lord, those who have not yet encountered His transforming grace are seekers. But I disagree. Some may be. But most of us, left to ourselves, are just living our lives to please ourselves. We are not seeking Him. The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. (Psalm 14:2-3)

So I think the real truth is that the seekers are those who have already met Him but want to know Him more deeply. Who want a fuller, freer, joy-filled life. They want to see the world with eyes that don't focus on the pain and trials but on the Giver of gifts, the One who bore the burdens we seem to want to cart around rather than give to Him.

So I'm on the journey to uncover grace and joy and eucharisteo. Because if my perspective can change, then I can see the things God has intended all along. And what glory will that be?