I am loving all of the gratitude posts on Facebook. It is beautifully complementing the things I am reading in One Thousand Gifts and it made me think of something that happened to me earlier this year.
Back in April, on a random Wednesday, I received a text message from my friend Stephanie. It simply said, “The Lord is so pleased with you, Jennifer Wells.” When I got it, tears rushed to my eyes and I sat for a moment rereading it over and over.
The Lord is so pleased with you.
I think it was probably one the most grace-filled moments of my adult life. Stephanie doesn’t know it, but she taught me a lot about the Father that day.
We so often focus on the ways we fail our precious Father, but on that day, I was reminded that I also please Him. I write often about our challenges with our children, mostly to lighten the tension of life with tiny people and relate to other moms. But even during all my moments of frustration, vulnerability, and confusion about being a mom I can tell you this, I am pleased with my girls. In fact, I am delighted by them. They captivate me. I could sit down with you for DAYS and tell you their wonderful, beautiful, unique, and most-special-in-all-the-world characteristics.
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11
Think about this: we are flawed, evil, kinda crazy people who really can’t even love unselfishly, and yet we can be pleased with and captivated by our children. How much more then can our Father, who is perfect and loves perfectly, be pleased with us?
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Jeremiah 31:3
Since getting that precious text from my friend, I will look around at my friends and family who are quietly choosing faithfulness in a world that is unfaithful, and I will think, “The Lord is pleased with you.”
- My dad, fighting to change lifetime patterns, pursuing righteousness and right relationships with others. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My husband, faithful and righteous, leading his family and his church to worship the one true King, even after facing some seriously challenging circumstances the past few years. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My mom, adjusting boundaries and opening her heart to trust good people in relationship for the first time in her life. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My daughters, learning to obey and consider others when every instinct in their bodies wants to fight for their own way. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My brother, who fights to press into Christ and lead his family in wisdom and righteousness in a world desperate to corrupt. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My sister, who came off the mountaintop to face life in the valley, and still chooses to trust the one who met with her face-to-face, even though she may not feel Him like she once did. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My sister-in-law, who fights for the souls of children every single day with her compassionate and wise heart. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My friend who just lost the relationship with the man she thought she would marry, and yet she trusts in the Lord who loves her. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My friend who works in an incredibly difficult environment that breaks most people, and yet she goes in faithfully and works as unto the Lord even when it seems impossible. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My friend who has experienced more loss this past two years than anyone should have to face, and yet they choose joy and trust in the God who is near to the brokenhearted. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My friend who faithfully picks up and moves across the country in grace and acceptance and jumps in to friendships to be a light in the lives of others. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My friend who trusted the Lord to leave a career and stay at home with her child(ren), despite the changes that would bring to their lifestyle. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My friend who lives in a world of uncertainty and challenge and yet is a light to those around her as she chooses to trust in the God who holds the world in His hands. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My friend who is waiting for the referral of the child(ren) who will change her life and her home forever – choosing to live out James 1:27. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My friend who has opened her home to a broken and hurting child, who has faced trials that demonstrate just how real the enemy who seeks to destroy actually is, and who is everyday seeing victory as the Lord fights for the heart of her child. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My friend who everyday chooses grace as she navigates challenging relationships within her family and continued financial pressure that would overwhelm most people. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My friend who trusted the Lord with his family and his career and gave praise to the God who is faithful in good times and bad. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My friend who is creative and brilliant and each time I am around them, I want to be more free in who Christ made me to be. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My friend who is single years after when their plan had them married, and yet they are faithful and trusting in the Lord to work it all out for good. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My friend who quietly pleads with the Lord to heal and fix the broken places inside, trusting that He is all-powerful and faithful to finish what He started. The Lord is pleased with you.
- My friend who lived through the terrible thing that threatened to break her heart and spirit, and instead of becoming bitter became a person drenched in grace for the hurting. The Lord is pleased with you.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
I am grateful for the examples of hope, power, grace, peace, joy, and faith lived out by the people around me. You inspire me.
In this season of gratitude, I am grateful for you and for the Lord at work in you.