Our family says a prayer before our meals. We believe it is important to acknowledge the hand that feeds us. Cody was three or four years old and we asked him to pray. After a moment of silence in his toddler voice, he begins,” Thank you God for my fork. Thank you for my napkin. Thank you for my salt shaker, thank you for my cup. Thank you for my juice….” With one eye, I peeked to see him surveying the table and giving God thanks for every tiny thing. The rest of us somewhat annoyed, but him content with naming every.single.item.one.by.one.
I was reminded of this as I drove around yesterday, speaking out to every thing I love about Florida: I am going to miss you palm trees. I’m going to miss you ocean. I’m going to miss you green grass. I’m going to miss you church. I’m going to miss you friends….
This season in Florida has been one of the most difficult of my life. I have dealt with death, deployment, disappointment and disaster. But I have also celebrated life, watched kids be baptized, saw faces light up when the Holy Spirit settled in teenage souls, made life long friends, witnessed marriages and held new born babies.
In John 10:10, Jesus promises us an abundant life. The American world wants to believe that abundant means lots of stuff and loads of money. But the abundance that comes from Jesus is living a life that allows you to experience every facet of every feeling and every emotion that our hearts were designed by Him to endure.
The abundant life is hard for us to accept, but it is ours to live. We can choose to embrace every season and allow it to sanctify us. And in doing so become one step closer to holiness. If we refuse it, we miss all that God has for us.
3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
You are loved, in every season.