August 5, 2015 Ponder
Brennan Manning’s book called “Ruthless Trust” has impacted my life so much that I find myself rereading it periodically. He says, “The person with an abiding spirit of gratitude is the one who trusts God. The foremost quality of a trusting disciple is gratefulness.”
Most recently, I was challenged by this paragraph that Manning quotes from another writer, Henri Nouwen:
“To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives – the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections – that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.”
This week I am hurting, as are many friends and family members of a young man we have watched grow up from early childhood. Steven Beaumont, along with his wife, Trina, has been an amazing example of trust and gratefulness. More than three years ago, Steven was diagnosed with brain cancer and given 14 months to live. The medical world, as well as hundreds – probably thousands – of people praying, has believed for every possible means of healing.
Through it all, this couple has lived the principle of gratefulness – no words of complaint, but simply taking life as it came and appreciating what it offered. I believe they have lived out what Henri Nouwen described in the paragraph above.
As I write these lines, I am trying to wrap my mind around accepting the reality that most likely within days from now, Steven will get his miracle healing – his welcome into the Presence of Jesus. And when he arrives there, he will have answers to the questions that I do not even know how to ask.
This week I am trying to live out what I have often stated: “I am grateful that I do not have to have answers to all of my questions in order to trust Creator God.” And I hope you will join me in praying for a family I love, and especially for a young wife who is accepting the reality of “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.”
May God’s Grace be felt beyond explanation for this family!
Pastor Bill Ehmann