Sunday, February 26, 2012

Eat the Mystery--Give Up Resentment for Gratitude

Excerpt from the wonderful book by Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2010. pp.22-23

When we find ourselves groping along, famished for more, we can choose. When we are despairing, we can choose to live as Israelites gathering manna. For forty long years, God’s people daily eat manna—a substance whose name literally means, “What is it?” Hungry, they choose to gather up that which is baffling. They fill on that which has no meaning. More than 14,600 days they take their daily nourishment from that which they don’t comprehend. They find soul-filling in the inexplicable.
They eat the mystery.
They eat the mystery.
And the mystery, that which made no sense, is “like wafers of honey” on the lips…I think of all the mysteries I have refused, refused, to let nourish me. If it were my daughter, my son? Would I really choose the manna? I only tremble, wonder…if the rent in the canvas of our life backdrop, the losses that puncture our world, our own emptiness, might actually become places to see.
To see through to God.
That that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.
Maybe so.
But how? How do we choose to allow the holes to become seeing-through-to-God places? To more-God places?
How do I give up resentment for gratitude, gnawing anger for spilling joy? Self-focus for God-communion.
To fully live—to live full of grace and joy and all that is beauty eternal. It is possible, wildly.
I now see and testify.
So this story—my story.
A dare to an emptier, fuller life.

“Eucharisteo” from Luke 22: 19 “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. 

“Eucharisteo”…Grace…Thanksgiving…Joy… is how Jesus, at the Last Supper, showed us to transfigure all things – taking the pain that is given, giving thanks for it, and transforming it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.--Psalm 139:13-16

After reading Ann Voskamp's inspiring book, and listening several times to the eight-hour audio version of the book, read by the author, her words resonate..."all is grace"...from the moment God knits us together in our mother's womb until the moment we see Him face-to-Face, amen? 

My dear friend, fellow-adoptee, and best-selling author Sherrie Eldridge, has also helped me see "all is grace" in the adoption journey, as she writes...

"THE BEAUTIFUL BRAID OF ADOPTION...Long ago in eternity past, God determined that He would make a beautiful braid, and He called it Adoption. The braid has four ribbons: red for the adoptee, green for the birth parents, purple for the adoptive parents, and the golden strand for His Sovereignty that weaves our lives together...God planned who my birth parents would be and who my Mom and Dad would be. Both influences, plus His, are needed to help us become all that He created us to be." 


In what ways do you "Eat the Mystery--Give Up Resentment for Gratitude"?

In what ways do you see God's sovereignty in "all is grace"?

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  1. Beth- Ann Voskamp will have a special place in heaven, for encouraging SO MANY to adopt an attitude of gratitude...... the excerpt you have shared here really spoke to me.
    Holes as see-through places is a concept dear to me. I share with people that the more cracks we have, the more light can shine through. I LOVE the way our sufferings are redeemed.
    Is Sherrie Eldridge the author of Captivating? That book did the rounds here when it first came out, and encouraged so many women.
    Thank you for sharing these treasures.
    Today I was called upon to help a friend with a heavy load.
    Eucharisto- giving up resentment and thanking God for the friends who so willingly share my load.
    May God be with you, my friend.

    1. Mary, thank you so much for your thoughtful response to this post...I so agree with you--Ann Voskamp's book, especially the audiobook of her voice reading One Thousand Gifts, has been an enormous blessing to me, also :) Although the names are similar, the book, Captivating, is written by John and Stasi Eldredge. I loved that book, too. In fact, there is the daily prayer at the end of Captivating, which is such a was too large to put here, but I will send it to you :)


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