The surplus.

What do you want?, He asked.

To be whole. 
To be free from bitterness.
To see the good, true, and beautiful.
To live fully.
Ultimately, to give thanks.

Have you?

I have thanked Him. For many things.
For His grace, His kindness, His goodness and mercy.
I have given thanks for my few accomplishments.
I have thanked Him that I am so fortunate
And so blessed
And so full
And so able to get it all done.
(Silently, bitterly
Grieving the emptiness
Counting failure after failure.)

False gratitude.
Easy gratitude.
Like thanking my Savior for helping
(the same way I’d thank a small child for “helping”)
when in reality, I owe Him my life.

I haven’t thanked Him. For many things.
Consciously, unconsciously, I don’t really know.
But I know how bitter I remain
How it gnaws and aches in the silence
How I don’t understand
How I cling to “This shouldn’t have happened,” and “I never deserved this,”
How I wonder what I did wrong
And still think I could have prevented it.

I’ve conceded His goodness
Thanked Him for redemption,
for evidence of grace,
for sparing me from a harsher fate.
Thank Him in all? I’ve tried.
But thank Him for all?

How? Is that even required? 

Can I force my soul to do the seemingly impossible,
To be thankful for that which reason does not permit us to appreciate as “good”
To be thankful not for the byproduct or some secondary effect, but for the very circumstance
To acknowledge as worthy that which pain deems unworthy of thanks
To call the deficit itself a surplus of grace

No.

But He can change me.

I ache to be thankful.
Not to tally my losses, because our God is not a glorified thief
Not to even the score, because our God is not a scorekeeper
Not to make it easy, because our God is an artist of broken pieces
But to live with unreasonable gratitude
And in so doing, to live fully
Beyond the threshold of joy.

I am not trying to rob you. I’m trying to help you.
Gandalf to Frodo

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7 thoughts on “The surplus.

  1. “But to live with unreasonable gratitude
    And in so doing, to live fully
    Beyond the threshold of joy.”

    Lord, let this be said of me.

  2. Startlingly but simply beautiful.
    It spoke straight to my heart–it is what I’ve been thinking and living, but in words.

    I have thanked Him. For many things.
    I haven’t thanked Him. For many things.
    He can change me.
    I ache to be thankful.

    Yes, yes, YES! my heart cried out as I read.
    Thank you for such a heartfelt post, Noelle. =)

    Love in Christ,
    Emily Grace

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