Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lent Day 2: Thankful for turbulence

Turbulence. That's how my little plane feels this morning: as though I'm shooting through waves of air I can only feel, not see.

Today I am grateful for small trials. Living in North America, we can truly say our trials are small. We can survive our financial crises, health issues, and relationship challenges with God's help. Our light and momentary sufferings are nothing in light of eternity.

When I read about Youseff, the Christian pastor whom Iran condemned to death this week, I am grateful for freedom to worship.

When I hear about Christians shot and hacked to death by Muslims in Africa, I am thankful for a safe neighborhood.

When I look at my daughter, racked with arthritis but strong in heart, I appreciate my own health and pain-free waking and sleeping.

As I prepare breakfast, I think of those hungering to death and savor each bite of God's abundance.

As I read about the life of Christ, I consider the blessings of his life and death applied to debtors like me.

Today, I am thankful for small trials and the turbulence that reminds me to pray for those whose storms sweep them into the raging sea.

Read more:
*But they are glad now that I am in trouble; they gleefully join together against me. I am attacked by people I don't even know; they slander me constantly. They mock me and call me names; they snarl at me.

How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing? Rescue me from their fierce attacks. Protect my life from these lions! Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly. I will praise you before all the people. Don't let my treacherous enemies rejoice over my defeat. Don't let those who hate me without cause gloat over my sorrow. They don't talk of peace; they plot against innocent people who mind their own business. They shout, 'Aha! Aha! With our own eyes we saw him do it!'

O LORD, you know all about this. Do not stay silent. Do not abandon me now, O Lord. Wake up! Rise to my defense! Take up my case, my God and my Lord. Declare me not guilty, O LORD my God, for you give justice. Don't let my enemies laugh about me in my troubles. Don't let them say, 'Look, we got what we wanted! Now we will eat him alive!' Psalm 35:15–25 NLT

*Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed. Isaiah 54:4

*When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Mark 13:11

*Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:6-11  NIV

Moravian prayer: Merciful Father, we thank you for always being with us. We are thankful for the power to see clearly the task set before us provided by the Holy Spirit who dwells within our hearts. Amen.

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