The Chosen

Ingratitude is an eye disease every bit as much as a heart disease. It sees only flaws, scars, scarcity. Likewise, the god of the thankless is wary, stingy, grudging, bumbling, nitpicky. He’s by turns meddlesome and apathetic, suspicious then indifferent, grubbing about in our domestic trifles one moment, then oblivious to our personal catastrophes the next[1].

Mark Buchanan, author of the above quote, wrote about Judas, how his pride led him to betray Jesus, in the belief that he knew better than Jesus.  Perhaps he thought he would just take the Teacher down a notch, let the Pharisees rough Him up a bit.  But when he saw his plan spinning out of control, and Jesus was condemned to death, suddenly Judas was filled with remorse and fell into despair.

Despair is the flip-side of the same coin as pride.  Despair believes that no one—not even God—can fix the mess I’ve made.  In a moment, Judas flipped from swaggering pride to the depths of despair.  In despair, Judas hanged himself, taking on the role of God as Judge, judged himself, and executed himself.

There are two things that usher me into the presence of God: gratitude and worship.  Gratitude is the flip-side of the same coin as worship.

Gratitude reminds me that God is good.  No matter what I’m going through, God is good.  And that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose[2].”

It was especially important for me to remain grateful this week because the other shoe dropped, so to speak.  I had another household accident.  I fell again.  This time I slipped on water in the bathroom.  Amazingly, I didn’t try to catch myself with my left hand, and thus avoided re-injuring my wrist.  But I fell hard on my left hip.

Thirty years ago I had broken my hip socket when my hip became slightly dislocated during an aerobics class.  At the time the doctor sent home and told to lie flat on my back for six weeks.  I spent another six months getting around on crutches.  This injury felt like that one, but thankfully, it wasn’t as bad.  My hip dislocated and I suffered a bone bruise.

Through it all, I have remained grateful because I do know that God is good.  And although the enemy has succeeded in slowing me down, he has not succeeded in stopping me.  And by the grace of God, he will never succeed in stopping me.

Worship reminds me that God is sovereign.  He is still on the throne and He is worthy as ever of all praise and worship.  To think that this God gives even a moment’s thought to me is amazing.  But He doesn’t just give a moment’s thought.  David wrote:

How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God.  They cannot be numbered!  I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand[3]!

Imagine that!  God is thinking about me even more than I am capable of thinking about myself—which I do—a lot!  But worship turns my self-centered mind back in the right direction: Godward.  And really, if God is thinking so much about me, shouldn’t I be thinking of Him, too?

And it becomes a divine cycle: gratitude draws me into worship of my amazing and good God, and worship births in me renewed gratitude, which draws me higher into worship.  The gratitude/worship coin flips.  Flip, flip, flip.  And I am carried up with it—gravity looses its hold on me.

Back here on planet earth, I would like to ask gravity to be a bit kinder to those of us who are getting older.  Nevertheless, when that trumpet sounds, by the grace of God I will have the final word over gravity.  Don’t forget to be grateful.  Live a grateful lifestyle—I guarantee you’ll be happier.  Think about God, who is always thinking of you, and worship Him.  God is good!

[1] Mark Buchanan, (The Rest of God, 2006).

[2] Romans 8:28.

[3] Psalm 139:17-18, NLT, emphasis mine.

2 thoughts on “The Chosen

  1. If you look at it a different way, the scripture, “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” can lead us to understand that the enemy never succeeds over us, as long as we remember that God uses all we give him to glorify himself. When slowed down, we have more time to focus on our inward walk. What better way to put the enemy in his place! He looses!

    Liked by 1 person

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