'Aging With Grace and Gratitude'
by Travis Wiginton
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Thank God, I'm not what I used to be....a sinner not saved by grace.
Now, I'm free in Christ by His Grace to become what God wants me to be.
On March 10, 2006, I wrote: 'Sufficient Means Sufficient':
1) God's Grace saves us: (Eph. 2:8-9)
2) God's Grace secures us: 'Shall not perish but have everlasting life' (John 3:16)
3) God's Grace shapes us: "We are His workmanship (vessel)"
(Eph. 2:10 and Jeremiah 18 about the potter and the clay)
4) God's Grace sustains us: (II Cor. 12:9-10) The life of Paul teaches us this truth!
Since I had the allergic reaction to Bactrim, I have had trouble sleeping, working....
(and everything else) as it has affected my brain!
God and I have had many long 'walks and talks' lately.
Last night, I had the best night's sleep I've had in several weeks!
Praise His Holy Name!
God is not only GOOD, but He is SUFFICIENT.
1) JEHOVAH JIRAH - The Lord Who provides.
2) JEHOVAH RAPHA- The Lord Who heals.
3) JEHOVAH SHALOM - The Lord our Peace.
(I've needed this one more lately than ever before!)
4) JEHOVAH TSIDKENU - The Lord our Righteousness.
5) JEHOVAH NISSI - The Lord our Banner.
6) JEHOVAH RAAH - The Lord my Shepherd.
Therefore, I want to share that we CAN age with Grace and Gratitude.
I believe that it was Shakespeare who wrote:
"Sharper than a serpent's tooth is an ungrateful child".
This reminds me that an ungrateful child who:
forgets who 'birthed him'....
forgets who provided for him...
forgets who taught HOW him to walk...
and 'WHERE' to walk.
Grace and gratitude are two key words for life, love, liberty and legacy!
Last Christmas I read a sermon entitled, "Grace is the forgotten word at Christmas".
If that is true, so is 'gratitude' forgotten.
What does the Bible say about Gratitude?
The word 'Gratitude' is not used in the Bible....
but descriptive words like 'thankful' and 'thanksgiving' are used often.
1) "A thankful heart doeth good like a medicine" (Proverbs 17:22)
2) "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication...
with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God."
3) "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father...
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph. 5:20)
4) "Let us come before the Lord with thanksgiving and make a joyful noise unto Him." (Psalms 95:2)
5) "Continue in prayer and watch with thanksgiving". (Colossians 4:2)
PRAISE is 'grace with gratitude'. I like this acrostic about Praise:
P- pleases God
R- releases Faith
A - assures and affirms hope
I - increases love
S - serves joyfully
E - endures eternally
All of this makes work, worship and 'whatever' better, more enjoyable and effective.
During this recent difficulty, we have tuned into Sunday worships on TV.
Here are some of the thoughts I heard (that I needed):
"In your presence, I can hear you.
In your presence, I draw near to you.
In your presence, I find I need you more."
Robert Louis Stevenson said:
"God giveth more grace....and why not grace?
We walk upon it...we breathe it...we live and die by it.
It makes the nails and axles of the universe".
Therefore, take all God gives....and give all God asks.....with grace and gratitude.
God provides grace...
Christ personified it....
the Holy Spirit presents it....
but WE must accept it...
and live by it.
Let us all age with GRATITUDE AND GRACE.
We are not what we once were and we are not what we are going to be.
I once saw a pin with the letters 'PBPWMGINTWMY'
I asked 'What does that stand for?"
The reply was, "Please be patient with me....God is not through with me yet".
During this time of 'antsy' spells and sleepless-ness (due to the allergic reaction),
La Moyne printed out a poem for me.
She laminated two copies of it, placing one by our bed and one on my desk:
"Be still O heart and calm thy fear...
And just remember God is near.
There is no cloud that can bedim
The loving, watchful face of Him.
No night so dark He cannot see,
So that should be enough for thee.
So sweetly rest, O heart.... be still...
Within the center of His Will."
One of my favorite poems is one by Annie Johnson Flint
(who went through some deep valleys of difficulties)
"He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father's full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limit; His grace has no measure.
His pow'r has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!"
The Apostle Paul had every reason to be pessimistic, but by faith he wrote and lived:
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee...
for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities...
that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (II Corinthians 12:9)
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Dearest Travis, this article literally brought tears to my eyes. Both you and La Moyne are such blessings to us, and our hearts and our prayers are with you. Love you both, Sharon
I am so THANKFUL that God has given you the wherewithal to continue to write your inspiring articles, with messages that we can use in our daily lives. My prayers will always reach out to you and I leave you this quote from Isaiah 41:10 "fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand."
I love this article on aging with grace and gatitude. God bless, Julia