Spicy Chai Tea to warm me from the inside out as I type.
Pumpkins stacked in the corner of the cafe, promising savory pies. (I don’t quite have my Grandma’s touch for pies, but I’ll try anyways…)
Soft rain making the turning trees bright against the dull background of sky.
October birthdays to celebrate some of the people I love the most…the promise of family coming together from far away.
So much beauty in this season of Autumn. So many things to give thanks for.
And yet, last night I lay awake for several hours, and in the darkness, my warm thankful thoughts were farther away than the anxious ones. Pressing in, reminding me of things I wish were different…and some I wish would stay the same.
This morning my thoughts trailed back to something I had written several months ago and the reminder of ‘The Greatest of These’ …something that doesn’t change. Even with the changing seasons.
I reached for the silver heart lined with tiny crystals. The chain was tarnished…turning to a rusty brown color. Three other silver chains hung on my dresser, vying for my attention, more recent gifts from different friends. But I pushed them aside, reaching for the silver heart gifted from my Dad on a birthday several years ago. Remembering the love behind the gift.
Especially today…the day I had said good bye to him for the last time here on earth.
And I was reminded of another Father who has gifted me with His heart. “I have loved you with an everlasting Love ” says the Lord, ‘I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.’ Jeremiah 31:3
So many things every day, vy for my attention. Newer, brighter perhaps, more eye catching. But will I push them aside, and reach for His Heart? Accepting the Love offered, remembering the Great Love behind the gift. The motivation to push the other things aside.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Jesus chose to lay down His life for me. Not because I ‘have it together’. I don’t. Because He loves me where I am, calling my heart from the things that draw it away from His.
Taking the silver heart from the rusty chain, my eyes brightened with an idea. I restrung it on a newer chain, till it settled on the background, shiny with no rusty brown spots. ‘Behold, I make all things NEW’ Jesus declares in the 21st chapter of Revelation. All things. New. Like the new chain, shiny and untarnished, displaying the heart so much more beautifully.
And what a gift…that He would choose to gift His heart, His love, His presence, to us…to me…my heart so tarnished by self seeking. And through His coming, His presence, His Redeeming, to make us new.
As another author I read recently wrote:
“ But God. He is the God who penned redemption’s story, from the beginning of time all the way to the fingertips of eternity’s outstretched hand. He is the God who is not bound by my efforts nor held back by my doubt. He is the God who is Love infinite, Love perfected, Love inextinguishable. He is the greatest of these. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (v. 13 ESV)
I came to the Book for knowledge, but here I find that I am fully known.
I came looking for faith, hope, love, but here I encounter Love Himself.”
(excerpt from She Reads Truth)
And here my thankfulness can rest… His love will be there even when my Chai tea is drained. Even when the leaves have faded and fallen…or my family is far away. Whether I am given a gift…or whether something is taken away.
“They will all wear out like a garment…but You are the same…“