Monday, June 10, 2013


               "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God." (Isa.61:10)
     Broughton High School's graduation this morning.  O Lord, who but You could have made this glorious day possible?  Thank You, Father, for graduation today and for allowing all four of the girls in the wreck to graduate on time with this special class of 2013.  And somewhere in that mass of purple robes sits one of Your children--Janie--whom You redeemed from the deepest, most hopeless of pits.  Might we never tire of giving God all the glory and praise.
     "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.  Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together." (Ps.34:1-3)
     Funny.  A year ago, I would have been excited about this graduation... but not overwhelmed with gratitude and joy.  Sure, I would have thought it a blessing... but after the past 9 months, we no longer take God's continual, everyday, but extraordinary blessings for granted.  We rejoice in each and every gift from our Gift-giving God.
     Forgive us Father for our blindness when it comes the gifts You daily shower upon us.  The laughter of high schoolers; dashes to Bojangles; beloved brothers and sisters; sunshine and rain--and being outside to enjoy them both (instead of inside the ICU); the brightness of the color purple; the priceless and irreplaceable gift of friendship; the creamy, cheesy taste of macaroni and cheese; taking pictures of loved ones; retelling and listening to old stories; the power of prayer; warm chocolate brownies made for Janie's late night IB study groups; music; Jake playing the guitar; listening to speeches of folks that have been a special part of our lives; golf bags and golf shoes covered with grass clippings; listening to OneVoice sing; cake... and more cake; the joyous sound of clapping for the accomplishment of nearly 500 graduating seniors; the certain knowledge that God is in control of every single moment of every day of our lives.
     A few more blessings.  These amazing friends from the class of 2013.  Lord, You formed each one of these precious children; You filled them with Your breath; You made them in Your image.  And they are all such treasures.  Thank You Lord for--
     (And a special thank You Lord for Courtney--in the middle in the black--the girls' amazing, remarkable, and wonderful Young Life  leader.  Gift upon gift.)
      And thank You for--
     "Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice!" (Phil.4:4)
     (Our crew, with Matt, Mary Norris' fiancé.  More blessings!)
     And more beautiful friends--
     And sweet Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Rich too!--
     And Jake and Janie--thank You Lord for the gift of their music over these past few months.  "Singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Col.3:16)
     Sorry to go on and on... but seriously, can we give God too much glory?  Can we ever be too thankful?  Can we ever reach the limit of gratitude at the underserved grace and goodness of God in our lives?  If you are able to read this, rejoice He has given you eyes to see and a mind to comprehend.  If you have a loved one to hug, Oh, rejoice at the gift of loving another person... and that another person loves you--even with all your idiosyncrasies and foibles!  If you have to much to do, rejoice that God has given you tasks to fill your day and people in your life to serve and love.  And if your house seems a little too quiet and empty right now, rejoice that God will never ever leave you nor forsake you and that He is with you right at this moment... and His grace is always always always sufficient for whatever you might face.
     From the ICU to graduation.  From brain injury to brand new starts in college.   From fear to joy.  From uncertainty to peace.
      But all the while, all the time, God was ever with us and for us.  Not for a moment.  Not for one single moment did He ever forsake us.  With us in the hospital and the x-rays and the rehab... and with us in school and church and graduation.
      Lord, might those who read this be reminded, we serve a God who can do anything... absolutely anything, including the impossible.  And might they know that no matter what they might be facing, You are with them and for them and will never ever leave them.  You are the God who redeems and restores and revives.
      You are the God who still moves stones.  We give you all the praise.  To God be the glory.

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