Beliefnet
Safe Place with Ruth Graham

The morning I was reading my Daily Light – as I have since I was about 12 years old. It is the King James Version because that is what I grew up with – the familiarity of the words brings comfort.

I read of God’s glory. God’s glory is so dazzlingly bright and magnificent He cannot be seen by human eyes. Moses asked to see God’s glory but God told Moses that “no mind can see me and live.”

In Scripture it talks about the “likeness of the glory of the Lord.” It cannot be described. St. John had the same issue as he wrote the book of Revelation. What he saw was so fantastical, he couldn’t describe it. it truly overwhelmed him. As it did the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel.

I can only imagine it would be like looking at the sun – but 1000 times brighter.

God knew we frail human could not stand in or look at His glory. So He sent an exact representation in the person of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote in II Corinthians, “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus.”

God the creator created the sun and moon just by speaking them into existence. He wanted to light the world which was empty and shapeless. This great creative God whose Word is creatively powerful has touched our own human, frail heart with His light.

Why? “To give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus.” God wanted us to see Him but He knew it was dangerous so He sent one who reprints Him to a “t”.

Take time to think about that!

And this exact representation came in the form of a baby. Mind-blowing! If God wanted to show us His glory why did He sent a helpless baby? Would not a light saber or army or powerful creature work better? No one would take a baby seriously. Power and majesty do not bring a baby to mind. A baby is vulnerable. Helpless. Approachable.

Perhaps that is part of God’s glory – humility.

With family arriving, laundry to be done, meals planned and fixed, loose ends tied together, children under foot, good smells emanating from the kitchen, noise and messes it must be a family gathering.

For some it is time of dread. Family relationships are strained, quarrels have never been settled. Jealousy arises. Fighting breaks out. Or someone is holed up in another room drinking too much. This, too, can be family gathering.

For some it is tinged with sadness. There is an empty place at the table. By death. Or a move. Or divorce. Or sickness. Or any number of losses. This Thanksgiving will be different.

Different is different. We can’t try to make it look like it used to be, because it isn’t. It is different and we adapt.

One good way to adapt is to be grateful for everyday. Even on the bleakest days, there is something we can be grateful for. Like breathing – being able to breathe is a blessing.

There used to be an old hymn, “Count Your Blessings”. The chorus went like this: “Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done.”

What blessings will you count?

I know, after my surgeries last year, it is a blessing to be able to get out of bed on my own. Simple but very true. And again, since my surgeries, my good health is a blessing. My children and their children are blessings. They now bring me joy! It wasn’t always the case but, as I told someone the other day, I have lived long enough to like my children! That is a HUGE blessing! But the best blessing of all is knowing I have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus!

I encourage you take time to count your blessings this Thanksgiving and every day. Perhaps start a gratitude list.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Back in the 70s many on college campuses were asking the critical questions we all must answer: Why am I here? What is my  purpose? Is there a purpose bigger than just to eat, live and die? They looked for self-fulfillment. Many young people were asking the right questions but looking in the wrong direction for answers. They turned to sex, drugs and Transcendental Meditation.

That’s when the sexual revolution and women’s lib started. The answers folks came up with didn’t seem to satisfy. They pursued all sorts of things going farther and farther from the truth. We cannot satisfy our quest apart from God.

Blaise Pascal said,

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace?

 

This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself”

[This is from page 75 of Blaise Pascal’s Pensees (New York; Penguin Books, 1966).]

Basically, he is saying there is a God-shaped vacuum in all of us that can only be satisfied by a personal relationship with God.

In my Bible reading this week I was reading I Corinthians 8 verse 5 through 6. “For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we live: and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created, and through whom we live.”

Those two little verses pack a lot of existential truth. It tells us where we came from and why we are here. We are here because God placed us here. God is the Creator and Jesus is the Keeper. We exist for Him. So we do not live for ourselves but for Him.

If that is true, does my life reflect it?

Today is my father’s 99th birthday! We will be celebrating his 100th year all year with memories of all God did in those 100 years. It is an amazing story of God’s faithfulness and grace.

It is such a blessing to be his daughter. I am reminded so often by those that come up to speak with me. This morning I went to the grocery store and many came to tell me how much they loved him. Usually it is followed by how they came to a personal relationship with Christ through his ministry – whether in person in a vast arena or on television, or in a movie, or by way of radio – so many lives touched and changed by the Gospel.

Yes, it is a blessing. And I feel loved by virtue of their love for him.

Like being in Ireland last month – everyone I met had a Billy Graham story. They remembered the historic meetings in London and Belfast. Their grandparents parents took them or made them listen on the “telly”. I felt like was wrapped in a warm blanket of love.

What a precious legacy I have!

Just wait till we all get to heaven. What a day that will be!

We’ll all be wrapped in God our Father’s

1950s with my parents

1950s with my parents

great love.