Rev Dr Rachel R
Releasing the Gift of Gratitude
At my 60th celebration in Puebla, Mexico, I was so touched that my house-owner prepared everything (with her family’s help) from home-made food to putting up the tents. So, I thought with God and asked how could I say “thank you” in a meaningful way.
This is what I did - told my life story through items that meant a lot to me and a box of chocolate for each family. I want to share them with you so that you can taste God’s grace and goodness in my life. I am blessed by God’s love to be a blessing to others.
The Thank You
1. Box of chocolates- I love chocolates, especially dark chocolates. (I hope that dark chocolates are a necessary dessert in Heaven!)
2. A violet string to hold the various items - God reminds me that I am a royal citizen of His Kingdom. A warrior Princess, no less. The Bible says that I am part of the royal priesthood. I believe this. Violet is the color of royalty. 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
3. The items: a. A FAIM postcard that has both English and Spanish Bible verses, greetings and blessings but focuses on Jehovah Jireh - God the Provider. I am reminded how God has provided for me, from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, especially in the last 22 years when I stepped out of being an employee earning a monthly salary. God is the Provider! Psalm 109:7 For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. b. An Unashamed Servant-Leadership card with my leadership quote which emphasizes that both men and women are called to leadership. And I told them how God made me a writer, my challenges of being accepted as a leader due to my gender by patriarchal societies as I minister, even in Mexico. c. An Unashamed Servant-Leadership coaster where I told the story of the book cover - a vision that God had given me two decades ago and how it has and is coming to pass as I serve globally. You can read this here Unashamed Servant-Leadership - The Book Cover part 2 d. Another FAIM postcard with the word Jehovah Shalom - and a Bible verse in Spanish only. The background of the card was a photo of a golden-orange sunset that hovered over my house in Honduras. Colosenses 3:15 Y la paz de Dios gobierne en vuestros corazones, a la que asimismo fuisteis llamados en un solo cuerpo; y sed agradecidos.
And it reminds me also of my life verse Colossians 1:7 And He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. I told my friends that people often remark how confident or peaceful I am and this confidence and peace comes from my faith in Christ. e. A heart-shaped rainbow-colored handmade bookmark. This was really the first thing that I mentioned - the rainbow reminds me of God’s convenant promise - despite the storms of life, His hands remain outstretched to help us, save us. He saves me from danger and death and disease. Genesis 9:16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.
And the heart-shape is very personal - God speaks to me in hearts.
My friends who know me will know that I have seen perfect heart-shaped clouds in Switzerland and Honduras, received heart-shaped pebbles in Israel, Ghana and Honduras, a heart-shaped pothole in Honduras, a heart-shape cobble-stone in Mexico and Honduras, heart-shaped water stains in Hawaii and Honduras…etc, when I least expect it. God is everywhere and He looks out for those who love Him.
Listen, I would not want a second where I am out of God’s will. I have enjoyed His company too much to let it go. He is not confusion, chaos or calamity. Christ is about the Peace amidst all of these challenging situations and circumstances. But I keep dancing with Joy in His Grace because I see His hands in my life. I THANK GOD for His presence, Protection and Provisions! So, why would I not release and share this gift of gratitude with others?
May God's blessings of abundant grace be yours as you walk into 2022 with your head lifted up, your heart filled with thankfulness, your voice heard and your steps after The One who loves us the most.