Listened to a sermon.
I was in the middle of a series on TULIP,
The five doctrines of Calvinism.
I figured that,
Now that I know that there are words for what I've come to believe,
I ought to know the generally accepted meaning behind those words.
So, I found a seminar that John Piper did on the subject.
Thursday morning, I was listening to the part about Total Depravity,
Trying to wrap my head around the extent of human sin,
The extent of my sin.
I walked to class trying to meditate on that,
Hoping that if I could get my head to understand,
My heart might get it, too.
The head part was easy.
The heart part? Not so much.
I thought anyway.
When I did what I normally do for dinner:
Heated up some food,
And sat down to listen to a sermon.
(Yes, I do often listen to two sermons a day.
It's how I resist the temptation to watch endless YouTube videos
Or the latest episode of Sanctuary or NCIS.
It also helps me to learn.
Yes, I realize that most people don't listen to this many sermons a day.
Normal is overrated.)
I am also in the middle of a great series
(Also by John Piper)
On the pleasures of God.
Thursday, I listened to "The Pleasure of God in Election".
(Which happened to coincide nicely with the TULIP series I'm listening to.)
It was a really great sermon.
I took good notes.
Of course, none of it meant too much to me.
Well, none of it meant too much to me until,
All of a sudden,
When He was talking about election being the "most precious act of love in the universe",
Something changed in my heart,
And, in an instant,
It was like going back in time five months,
And He was there,
And I was talking to Him like five months ago was five minutes ago,
Just driven to praise,
Totally in awe,
And filled with joy.
I heard thunder rolling outside,
Hadn't known that it was supposed to rain.
"You did that, God!
And it's so loud,
I could never do anything so wondrous!"
And so the conversation continued
As I grabbed my rain jacket,
Pulled on my tennis shoes,
And headed outside to walk to class.
I was just so happy,
Praising God for the beauty of the rain,
Loving the chance to be outside in it,
Amazed at how it had been pouring a moment before,
Now was just a sprinkle,
The clouds were moving past me,
The sun shining behind me.
The sun's shining behind me.
And the sun's shining -
There should be a rainbow.
I began searching everywhere,
"That would be just like You, God,
To give me joy in You again,
Then to show me a rainbow,
To put a rainbow in the sky just for me.
You know how much I love rainbows."
And searched . . .
And then I found it -
Just a hint of the top.
I would've certainly missed it if I hadn't been looking.
I was so excited.
"Thank You, God!
You gave me a rainbow!
Thank You so, so much!"
There was a bounce in my step as I continued walking,
Seeing the beauty in the storm clouds to my right,
Praising God as I passed green trees
And came to an intersection
And suddenly stopped,
Hands over my mouth,
Right over one of the buildings,
Was at least a third of a very beautiful rainbow,
Clear and shining bright against the sky,
And I was just overcome with gratitude.
The bit of the top was beautiful,
This was just so much more,
An abundance of grace.
It blew me away.
I pulled out my cell phone
(The one that barely takes pictures?)
Because it was the only camera I had,
And I just had to get a picture of this,
This beautiful arc in the sky,
A symbol of God's gift to me that day,
A gift in and of itself:
A gorgeous rainbow.
Whatever He did seems to be continuing this time,
At least to a point.
I definitely feel better than I've felt all summer,
And have actually been able to worship and praise on a regular basis.
It's still not what it once was,
But it's so much better than it has been in a long time,
And I am so, so grateful for this precious gift.
I may never take this feeling for granted again.
(Though, considering how forgetful I am, it's likely I will. Still, it would be nice . . .)
I am so, so blessed,
And that makes me want to bless . . .
(Bet you can guess what's coming . . .)
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
O my soul,
Worship His Holy Name,
Sing like never before,
O my soul,
I'll worship Your Holy Name . . .
Reasons 2162-2285 today,
Continuing to bless the Lord,
***These reasons have been removed. For more information, please read this post. To read other reasons, view any posts with the label 10,000 Reasons from August 30, 2012 or earlier, or from October 10, 2012 or later.***
(Take the challenge with us! Please? Sylvia's taking a hiatus, and I'd love some company. You won't regret it!)
<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>Counting in community: