Unexpected Gratefulness

As I drove to a meeting yesterday afternoon I watched the clouds while at a stoplight. They moved quickly, drifting through the sky so effortlessly. This moment reminded me of life. We are here, moving with purpose, and suddenly we are gone. But, wow when you stop to look at the clouds or examine your life, isn’t it all beautiful, even if it lasts for merely an instant?

One of my favorite TV shows is This Is Us. The show is known for its unexpected twists and turns as they display the past, present, and future of one family, the Pearsons. When I looked up at the clouds I wanted to slow them down, Pearson style and pick apart their beauty as they lay in the sky. But there was nothing I could do without a camera available to capture this moment. The clouds remain etched as a memory in my brain; fleeting, gone as quickly as they came.

My brief moments with the clouds reminded me of God’s eternal control over time and space. God provided this word to me through Psalm 90:3-6 this morning:

You turn people back to dust,
    saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in your sight
    are like a day that has just gone by,
    or like a watch in the night.
Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
    they are like the new grass of the morning:

In the morning it springs up new,
    but by evening it is dry and withered.

Psalm 90, a prayer written by Moses is part lament, part praise. Our lives are fleeting, yet God is eternal. What strikes me most while reading through the psalms is how God’s character remains the same. Forever. He never changes, we can always depend on Him. So even though we might not have all of the answers or are unable to slow down time, we may rest in the hope of God’s joy.

Moses prays for the Lord’s joy at the end of this psalm, essentially asking God to make His joy outweigh the struggle promised to us in life. Moses recognizes God’s capacity to create beautiful things out of a mess. Reading and reflecting on the words of Moses through this prayer demonstrates the following:

We cannot…

…have the hope of salvation without the torment of Christ on the cross.

…fully understand joy without experiencing grief.

…kneel before God in gratitude until we know we lack something from this human existence.

Understanding this leaves me feeling unexpectedly grateful this Thanksgiving. Holidays are tough for me, as I know they are for many of you who suffer from familial loss, strained relationships, etc. Today God gently whispered to me through His word that my time here is precious and not to worry. I am so grateful all of the control I desperately long for from day to day is not mine, but His. Like those clouds I gazed at yesterday, I get to drift, pulled along by a God who can do incredible things with a few flecks of dust.

Happy Thanksgiving Fam,

Tone Waters

Director of GO & Communications