The weather was unseasonably warm, and the trees that still held some of their leaves seemed all the more yellow gold against the grey of the sky. I crunched my way across the park ankle deep in fallen leaves and found a wooden bench to settle on for a while. Sipping my latte and watching squirrels that seem to be twice as big as the squirrels that used to visit the bird feeder when I lived in the country. I guess they must be fed too much here - leftover lunch bits of all kinds. They seemed unusually bold, coming to my feet and giving me dirty looks because I didn't bring food and they obviously were trying to stock-pile for winter.
The water was so peaceful in the distance, and the sound of leaves dropping above me and on to the ground below. Peaceful, and I've felt that way today too. I've been waiting to hear back from the job I applied for now that all my references are in, and some other things have been on my mind as well. Things that could make me anxious, but over the past several days they've just seemed very small.
And why? I think a large part of it has been this sudden feeling of thankfulness I've found covering each day, this week especially. Not something I've mustered up, but God's doing. A sudden awareness of every good gift, even small things. Not so much in circumstances or physical things, but in sensing the Lord's nearness, and complete sovereignty over our lives. The joy of being in relationship to Him.
I read a quote last night in a book that captures well these spiritual blessings we have to rejoice in:
"There's no doubt that becoming a Christian is a costly thing (Luke 14:28). But it's also true that the rewards of being a Christian are inexpressibly awesome. Forgiveness of sins, adoption as God's children, relationship with Jesus, the gift of the Holy Spirit, freedom from sin's tyranny, the fellowship of the church, the final resurrection and glorification of the body, inclusion in God's kingdom, the new heavens and new earth, eternity in God's presence, seeing his face - all these are the promises God makes to us in Christ."
I want to hang on to and rejoice in these precious things that are ours in Christ, no matter what the winding path of my life holds.
And whatever you are facing today, I hope you can too.