Sunday, November 16, 2008

I've been thinking about Thanksgiving...

and gratitude. It is THAT time of year...

I really love the song Gratitude by Nicole Nordeman, so I decided to see if I could get the lyrics online- and what do you know... I found a video too!

I wanted to share it with you.

I just cry every time I see this slide show- but it is a good reminder that we are living in a world full of broken, hurting, THIRSTY people.
It is overwhelming.

Sometimes we wonder how can God stand to see His creation in such turmoil- how can it be that so many people in the world today are suffering unimaginable atrocities:

-The genocide in Darfur.

-The abortion of millions of innocent babies in America and all over the world.

-The orphans in Russia- over 100,000 children abandoned by their parents each year. "Social orphans" because parents either can't afford to take care of them- or have abandoned them because of alcoholism or prostitution. And when these Russian children grow up and leave the orphanages, many are totally unprepared to face life- they are left homeless, become dependent on drugs and alcohol-and so the cycle continues.

Many commit suicide.

There are orphans in many other countries with a similar story.

-The war in Iraq- 4,200 confirmed deaths so far and counting. Families are suffering. Husbands, wives, and children are feeling the loss. No matter how you personally feel about this war- you have to acknowledge that the cost of war is dear.

The world is in chaos.

People are losing their faith.

A friend of ours sat and talked with us for hours about how they just COULD NOT believe in God.

No Heaven.

No Hell.

They said the God they grew up learning about couldn't possibly allow these things to go on- let alone let some one burn eternally in a pit of fire just because they didn't "accept Christ as their personal Saviour."

I can still hear the disgust- the disappointment.

I've been there.

I never truly believed the lies, but I've heard the whispers-

I've been there.

I feel like I can relate to this friend's feelings.

The difference is, I have to believe that God- the God I grew up learning about- does not want these things to happen- I can not believe that He created mankind just so that He could watch them systematically destroy themselves.

God created man to worship Him- He created free moral agents.

What good is worship and adoration if it is forced or coerced?

Man took the reigns...we fell.

I have to believe that the turmoil of mankind is of his own doing-
and yes, as a result, the innocent do suffer.

But God didn't "throw in the towel" and turn His back on us.

He showed His love for us- His care- His concern-by making a WAY for us

to come back to Him.

I have to believe that when He sent Jesus, He sent us HOPE.

His cross made it possible for us to choose a different path.

It all comes down to that.

Free will.

The choices we make effect more lives than our own.

We have the freedom to choose Christ- to accept His leadership in our lives, and to accept the change He will make in our lives when we live to please Him.

No matter what the political atmosphere,

no matter if the law of man forbids it-

in my heart, my mind, and my will- I still can choose God.

What is there to gain? Everything that is important.

What is there to lose? Despair.

This is why I am thankful.

Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .


We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain
Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .


We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead
And if we never taste that bread
Oh, the differences that often are between
What we want and what we really need
So grant us peace,
Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case . . .


We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace

But Jesus, would You please . . .


The Arender's said...

Very moving song. Thank you for sharing this!

Theresa said...

Very true words! Jodi, your post is very moving. May God always remind me to keep the attitude of graditude.
Love you

Justin and Jennifer Harris said...

Jodi, this post brought tears to my eyes! As I sat here reading I was reminded of a time or two in my life where I had those same nagging questions. Yet, in those moments, our loving Saviour was faithful to show me the Way. How my heart aches for the lost and lonely in this world! Thank you for such an open and honest post!

Mary Ellen said...

You said that so very, very well. It's horribly sad to sit and hear a friend filled with despair, I hope you were able to say to them what you said to your blog readers - excellent.

The devil is always happy to help people who are looking for reasons to turn their back on God to find those reasons - thankfully He is there waiting for us when we are ready to find reasons to turn around and come back to Him.

Making Memories 1999 said...

Thank you for posting this very moving song and your touching, but true words!!

We so enjoyed seeing you all last weekend!! Thank you for making the trip over and spending your Thanksgiving with us! We might see you this weekend as well.

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