Here we are it is Thursday again, and I am so excited. Today not only am I posting about Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts, but I have plans to join her and Liz Curtis Higgs on Ann’s farm for a Christmas celebration (via the Internet of course). The party starts at 12 pm EST if you would like to join us.
In chapters 7 & 8 Ann speaks about eucharisteo in the darkness, choosing to see God and be thankful in the midst of suffering, and how trust is built through thanksgiving.
As I read those chapters, I thought a lot about my life over the last few years. To say that I have had many trials and tribulations through last 6 years would be an understatement. From broken engagements to jobs lost to job quit to the loss of family and friends through death and disagreements, they have been a rough 6 years. I think that I have spent more time in mourning than in gladness, but to everything there is a season. And the one question that has plagued me is this:
How do you see God in the darkness? How do you see God when the trials hit?
It is a choice…to see or not to see. To give thanks or not to give thanks. To trust or not to trust.
For 5 out of the last 6 years, I struggled with my faith. I chose not see God in the midst of everything that was happening. Then I met a man, an atheist, who challenged me about my faith at every turn, and in order to defend my faith, I had to look. I had look back and see God.
I had to take note of the times He protected me, placed His hand over me, even in the darkness. I had to take note of the times He provided for me even before I knew that there was a need. And in doing so I had to be grateful because He was there even when I didn’t want to see Him.
And I started to learn how to trust again. Not only how to trust Him, but how to trust myself again.
In One Thousand Gifts, Ann describes eucharisteo as a bridge, a bridge that builds trust one plank at a time, and I can see that now. I can see how trust is built in the darkness and in the light one gift at a time.
So how do you see God in the darkness? By making the choice to see. By focusing on Him and not the mess. By choosing eucharisteo even when it is hard.