Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lessons I Learned in the Dark by Jennifer Rothschild

I am reading a new book called Lessons I Learned in the Dark by Jennifer Rothschild. This book is really timely for me right now, and it is always comforting when you know that the Lord is supplying you with things designed to meet you where you need. There was one part early in the book that got the color crayon treatment which is how I highlight my books.  "We don't lean on God until fear makes us feel shaky and weak."  Isn't that so sad but true? I am always thankful that God is there, am always mindful that He is there, but I get busy and overwhelmed and forget to lean.

I don't know if I have ever read a book that has been so completely where I am at this moment in time. Page after page has been exactly what I needed to read, needed to learn. I'm only half-way through it, but this is a book I recommend very highly.

She writes:

"When we have memorized God's Word, it becomes real to us... Never forget that the important things sealed in your memory are never lost. So spend time memorizing what matters, and maintain what you have memorized. When it's dark and you can't see, God will become your vision if His truths are hidden in your heart. Most of all, remember the Lord, for He never forgets you. You are always on His mind and in His thoughts. He remembers what matters -- you! So by day or by night, make Him your best thought, and make sure you always remember to thank Him for His Word and His goodness to you."

I would love to put excerpt after excerpt here, but I wouldn't know where to begin or end. I'll just share this with you. She wrote about being thankful for difficult gifts, things that God allows in our lives to help us to grow, to learn, to grow closer to Him, to strengthen our faith.

One reason many people struggle with bitterness and ungratefulness is that they've never learned to receive difficult gifts. Blindness is just one of many such gifts. Illness, broken relationships, wayward children, and financial strain can be very hard to receive, much less be thankful for. But the interesting thing is that God expects us to be thankful anyway."

And then she said,

". . . some things that God allows to come into our lives are genuinely hard to be thankful for. But if we fix our eyes on God, we can see beyond the difficulty of the gift into the heart of the Giver. Regardless of whether we asked for it or want it, it's a gift of God's grace, and our response should always be to receive it with thanks. Is your response to a difficult gift based on your feelings about the gift itself or on your desire to honor the Giver and do His will? Is your closed fist extended in anger, or is your open hand lifted to Him? Only an open hand receives the blessings that accompany difficult gifts, and sometimes it's only in a package wrapped in heartache that we receive the fullness of God's grace."

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