April 18, 2011

Estoy agradecido por...

Everybody needs a Lorina in their life, and I'm so glad God sent me mine. :-)

She's one of those friends that fits into your life like apples fit into an apple pie.

Few people in this world would have the grace of character to know me as well as she does and still enjoy my company, but she's just nice like that. She knows how to listen, she senses when I need it, she understands my thoughts before I even speak them. She has the gift of being able to give a rebuke in love, and can often do so without saying a single audible word. She's cool, I like her. :-)

Lorina has been trying to teach me Spanish for some months now. I say trying but that doesn't really describe her effort. Think "trying" with blood, sweat and tears. While other of her Spanish students quickly pick up phrases, words, pronunciation and syntax and can carry on intelligent conversations with her, I fumble with my words, forget 83% of everything she tells me until she's repeated it six times, and generally prove myself a rather inept learner. But I'm trying...maybe not with blood, sweat and tears, but nonetheless making a noble effort.

On the neatly handwritten 3x5 notecard of spanish phrases she gave me last week was the phrase:

Estoy agradecido por...
I'm thankful for...

I smile every time I review it, because there's meaning in that phrase. Lots of meaning.
That's a fighting phrase. When life begins to seem more negative than positive, and encouragements are few and far between, when the goal seems far away and the purpose for life blurs and becomes indistinct, my Father whispers to my heart, "Have I done anything that you are thankful for?" And then together He and I open fire on Old Discouragement. I'm thankful for...
And when I stop to think about it, I always end up feeling so foolish thinking of discouraging things when so many bright and joyful things are all around for me to be grateful for.
But recently, He has been drawing my mind to see that there's a deeper and even more meaningful level to gratitude.
He wants me to be thankful for uncertainty.
                                           For the tears that stain my pillow.
                                                   For the painful moments when my defects are made obvious.
                                                           For the people who rub my every last nerve the wrong way.
                                                                   For every hard moment of waiting.

                                     ...because these things are merely His blessings in disguise.

"We do not always consider that the sanctification we so earnestly desire and for which we pray so 
earnestly is brought about through the truth and, by the providence of God, in a manner we least expect. 
When we look for joy, behold there is sorrow. When we expect peace, we frequently have 
distrust and doubt because we find ourselves plunged into trials we cannot avoid. 
In these trials we are having the answers to our prayers. 
In order for us to be purified, the fire of affliction must kindle upon us, and our will must be brought into conformity to the will of God. In order to be conformed to the image of our Saviour, we pass through a most painful process of refining." 
-Upward Look Page 109

His love is too wise to give me anything less.


  1. Words fitly spoken, and perfectly timed. The song reverberates in my mind... Thanks Beth.

  2. Beth...thank you. We are in this together...no matter how isolated we feel. We will each have the experience in a different way, but the lonely road each of us is walking is leading us to the circle of His presence where we will stand together and say, "It was cheap enough."
    I want to see His blessings in disguise and rejoice in them...embrace them as precious gifts...and feel His arms around me in the darkest hours.
    Love you, girl!

  3. Aww.. "Everyone needs a Lorina in their life" so true I miss and love that girl she's one of the sweetest of people on God's earth. :)

  4. Hello, sister in Christ! i have to thank the Lord for how these blogs of yours ministered to me today, most especially this one. :) we do not know each other but i cannot help but comment. Be assured that what the Lord is allowing you to share through these blogs are being used to bless like they have blessed me! i am going through some discouraging moments lately and these lines you wrote echoed my thoughts perfectly:

    "He wants me to be thankful for uncertainty.
    For the tears that stain my pillow.
    For the painful moments when my defects are made obvious.
    For the people who rub my every last nerve the wrong way.
    For every hard moment of waiting."

    well, indeed, this life in Christ is not always a bed of roses but it is the only kind that really satisfies. Thank you for living this truth out. May GOD continue to mold you into the woman that HE wants you to become!

    1. Your kind words are humbling, sister, and I thank you for them.

      Looking back at these words I wrote nearly two years ago it is hard to even remember what I felt was so discouraging at the time. All I can see, looking back, is the faithful hand of my Father opening my heart to receive greater joy.

      I don't know what discouragements you are facing, but I have no doubt but that it will be the same for you. You have it right, "it is the only kind that really satisfies." :)

      Praying for you!