Apart From Christ

In continuation of my thanksgiving post…

I didn’t even mention it because it’s probably on the top list of daily, all year long thanksgiving and not just for the month of November, but I’ll say, how can I not be thankful for a God who is sooo patient with me. If I take just one day out of my life, it’s a shame to think how many times I go to God asking for help or forgiveness about the same stuff. I couldn’t ever make myself “more patient,” for example (one of my biggest struggles.) Hebrews 4:16 says it best for my daily walk. “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” I’m constantly in need… Weather it’s a wave of overwhelming sadness, or a memory that starts to bring out anger in me, or when I just respond to someone with the opposite of how I actually want to respond. (ugh how frustrating.) Or when I just won’t shut my mouth in time… Whenever the I rises in me, I’m reminded to “take every thought captive to obey Christ…” And because of Jesus, I can go to God, over and over… Apart from Jesus Christ, I am nothing, and oh, what a horrid creature I would be. I know what a human is. I know what I am. I am no better than any other person in any way.

(A note on my thoughts on patience. Patience isn’t tolerance of… patience isn’t ignorance. Patience doesn’t mean an allowance to abuse it. And patience also can run out. But that’s my opinion especially in regards to human interactions and life.)

As of today, Washington is back to lockdowns. (restrictions, gatherings are prohibited, congregations can’t sing -whoa!) So, I’m thankful that there’s no restriction that prevents us from watching our church online. We don’t have a local church yet, reason being that we were still watching what we still call our church (which is in Colorado) online. With Covid, and renting more than an hour away from where we will potentially be living, (closer to my husband’s work when, or if, he goes back to working in an actual office ) we haven’t committed to any new local church. One day, I hope and pray, we will have a local church where we can be in fellowship and community…but as of now, we pray for and support our church that we listen to online.

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I’m ok with being an open book. How many times before in life have I cared how people perceive me? But even if I, or anyone, could try to make ourselves be something magnificent in other people’s eyes, who’s opinion really matters? Who actually sees and knows me just as I am? God. I’m so thankful that before I think it, He already knows. Before I speak it, He already knows. He knows what is behind it, what will come of it…

I’m so thankful, I can say more so than ever, “What a friend we(I) have in Jesus.” Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” So yes, people, friendships, community, they are all very important. (As much as folks make me out to be a loner and all…I’m really not…) But the kind of friendship that Jesus provides, no human could compete with.

And last one -I’m so thankful for music. Old and new. Brilliant musicians and singers. I’m jealous. You’d think there’s nothing else anyone could compose or combine but it’s endless… That friendship^ and music -together in one of my favorite songs (even if it’s a bit sad) which speaks so much truth for my life:

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
  All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
  Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
  O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
  Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
  Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
  Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
  Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
  Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
  Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
  Take it to the Lord in prayer;
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
  Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
  Thou wilt find a solace there.