12 December 2011

Multitude Monday - 1000 Gifts ~ "Indeed, has God said...?"

"...you shall not...?"

I was studying through Genesis 3 this past weekend, and spent some time meditating on the crafty strategy, used by Satan, to entice Eve into disobedience.

It seems to me that the serpent's initial success was not leading Eve into sin, but rather changing Eve's perspective.

He used provocative words...

words designed to incite an immediate and unmediated by time or thoughtful reflection type of response... 

words that prompted her to glance away from the lavish abundance with which God had engulfed her and her husband.

The serpent even told her specifically where to look.

He targeted her attention on the one thing that was forbidden. He encouraged her to gaze at a single prohibition among an infinite, unending profusion of gifts and delights. When Satan succeeds in redirecting attention, seeds of discontent are quickly and easily sown.

God had told them they could eat from all BUT one; Satan made that single restriction seem much bigger and more exclusive than it was. God’s words were “eat freely,” clearly containing the idea that they could enjoy as much as they wanted, reveling in His abundance.

Eve knew God's Word, and attempted to correct the Deceiver. She correctly stated that God had told them to eat freely of all but one... and then she added her own bonus to God's ban - they couldn't even touch the fruit. When she tossed in this supplementary restriction, God's single prohibition sounded even more limiting, almost unfair or unbearable. Those seeds of discontent had germinated; a restless, unsettled dissatisfaction sprouted.

We all know the rest of the story. She looked, was pleased with what she saw, desired all that she thought eating the fruit would deliver, took the fruit, ate and then gave to her husband, who did likewise.

While I garnered several other nuggets of truth, wisdom and application while meditating on the details of this familiar passage, I think one truth surpassed them all:
  • keeping my eyes focused on all that God is, has done, is doing & will do,
  • continually recalling His unending grace and innumerable good gifts encompassing me about,
  • persistently praising and thanking Him for both grace, gifts and hard blessings 
makes it much easier to bow the knee and accept His always-good plan, whether it feels good to me or not...

...That perspective is often the hedge
protecting me from striding into sin.

I wonder... is all sin somehow born out of discontent?
If so, wouldn't that make choosing gratitude absolutely imperative?

Photos of our little school girl, her buddy and Rover the tortoise... kids choosing joy and contentment in the moment, enjoying God's abundance and provision... a lesson I need to learn, relearn, and re-relearn again and again... 

this week's gratitude list:
(#s 1727 - 1757)

Grateful for another batch of photos taken by our friend, Jessica Neff. Thanks, Jessica!

tough, uncomplaining little boy who rarely looses his delightful grin

same little boy putting up with his sisters telling him he needs a parrot to go with his patch

little boy sleepy snuggles that help him feel better

doctor friends willing to make late Sunday night house calls

open doors to see an opthamologist right away

fantail pigeons on the front porch

blueberry syrup

anticipating blueberry & creme danishes in the morning

5 ladies at Bible study last weekend

the Living Word - that touches me just where I need to be touched and does the same for the lady sitting right beside me, studying those same words

Mamata's making phenomenal reading progress with her glasses

catching the tire before it went flat

the guy on his moto who crashed into the back of the LandCruiser wasn't hurt

sister writing sister a letter, just to say how much she loves her

tween slumber parties

grandparent-ish friends helping with that tween party

brand new 11 year olds

partying with friends & colleagues, enjoying grilled steak, potatoes, salad (before the almonds were added), eggnog... and laughing over rewritten for Niger Christmas carols

watching my kiddos enjoy their very first white elephant gift exchange

laughing as I try to thread hollow noodles on a spaghetti noodle... held in my mouth

sleepy little girl pressing face to my cheek as I type

all of the other girls tucked into bed at the other end of the house

listen to radio streaming from the US... and enjoying both old and new Christmas music

being asked to proofread his English project

Physics teachers

lighted candles - helping me to think always of the Light of the World

smell of cinnamon and cloves

friends playing together almost every afternoon last week

watching the little M&M play with goats, shepherded Madina and Aicha this morning while Mamata worked on her reading syllables

God With Us 


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