As I sat ....listening to an extraordinary author speak about thankfulness - tears moved down my cheeks in a constant flow of emotion - each tear saying....
"Lord, I'm so sorry for the ungratefulness I exude."
As she spoke - about death, about grace, about children, about love, about joy, about Jesus..... the overwhelming, yet gentle conviction I felt in my spirit was more than me, or the box of tissues at our conference table, could handle. The conviction emptied me....and I emptied the tissue box.
The sorrow I felt for being so ungrateful in the midst of such blessings - made the tears pour forth... and pour forth....and pour forth.
I looked back at myself - my thoughts, my feelings...and my spirit crumbled to pieces. As I turned my attention to the past...to 5 years before...to 5 minutes before - I suddenly realized the ugly and immature web I wove of constant unsatisfaction and ungratefulness. A web, that only caught in it's trap more unsatisfaction and more ungratefulness.
And in that moment - an author much wiser than I - brought to my attention the affliction:
A blindness to blessings.
What's even more startling is that I created the blindness myself. The blessings have always been there. They weren't hidden or twisted or even small - they were in the light, obvious, and larger than life...... It was the sin-darkened, world-tented eyesight I had let myself develop - that tainted my seeing them. The blessings, that is. The bright and many blessings that littered my life.
What the author said of herself is also true of me...
"My default is always unsatisfaction. Always."
And it can't go on this way. My womb has been full too many times....my pantry too stocked....my mind to educated....my marriage too committed....my bed too soft...my thirst too quenched....my soul too saved - to live wallowing in ungratefulness.
So now...as I wipe the tears and gather the pieces of myself - I reach up to the One...the Grace-Giver, the Blessing Bringer, the Banisher of Blindness - to pour His grace forth on me. And the thought of His grace pouring forth....again, makes my tears pour forth. And I'm grateful.
The pouring out of me and the pouring in of Him...isn't that what we're after?
So He has me where He wants me. Not at a conference or a lecture or a city - but broken in the palm of His hand. And as I lay in a convicted and tired heap in his touch - my eyes are opened. Not only to the dark realities of my ungrateful heart - but to the scars that lay there as well. For the palm that holds me - held the nails that save me. And the grace that drips from those wounds - heals the blindness in me...and the blessings begin to out-do the bitterness.
So as I charge into the everyday - where life isn't a pretty poem and the Enemy crouches around corners - I realize my default can only be outdone by the out-pouring of Grace.
And the web of darkness I once wove is torn because of Him. And it leaves me thankful, void of unsatisfaction ... full of Jesus.