The Gratitude Tour

by Andy Wood on November 28, 2011

in Enlarging Your Capacity, Five LV Laws, Insight, Life Currency, LV Cycle, Principle of Abundance

Hey.  Glad you’re here for the tour.  I have something I want to show you.  Well, actually, lots of things I want to show you.  And it’s a little weird because you know more about this stuff than I do.  You see, this building – and all the rooms in it – is actually your life.

That explains why the upper floors are still under construction.

It also explains why many of the lower floors are being renovated.

Yes, it explains why some of the floor and rooms are dark, dark, dark – and why many others are very bright and festive.

Now before we begin the walk-through, I have some things for you to keep with you at all times.  First up – your hard hat.  Hey, it’s a construction zone.  Hard hats are required.  Sure, you can call it the “helmet of salvation” if you want.  I don’t care what you call it – just wear it.

Safety glasses are also a must.  It’s important that you protect your eyes, and also that you see clearly.  Some people say these are a rose-colored.  I like to think of them as shades of grace.

Also, keep this little container with you.  You’ll see why later.  Inside you’ll find some bread (unleavened, of course) and wine.

One more thing to notice is the inscription on your container.  After all, this is the Gratitude Tour…

always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father (Ephesians 5:20).

Finally, I have a bonus surprise for you. Each of the rooms you visit – which represent episodes or experiences in your life – has had a Custom Designer and a Famous Visitor.  Some of the rooms have been so completely re-done, you may have trouble recognizing them at first.  And in each room, the Visitor has left you a special message.  I think you’ll like it.

The Rooms of Blessing

Can you believe how beautifully done these are?  Wow.  You sure have a lot to be thankful for.  Friends.  Family.  Joys.  Accomplishments.  Answered prayers.  Did you notice the light, airy design?  The careful attention to the slightest detail to delight you?

And did you find the message from your Famous Visitor in those rooms?  Yeah, that’s it:  “Jesus was here.  And He left you His name.”

Did you know that He visited those days of blessing long before you ever did?  Did you know that He personally designed those seasons and days?  Only one thing is missing:  a little gratitude from you.

So… wearing the hard hat of salvation, seeing through the safety glasses of perspective and wisdom, let’s break out that bread and wine and remember… and confess our ingratitude… and be filled with the Spirit… and say, “Thank you.”

After all, “always giving thanks” is a result of being filled with the Spirit.  And it’s one of the standards, or manifestations, for what a Spirit-filled life looks like.

And this is the Gratitude tour.

The Renovated Rooms

You’re going to find some surprises on this floor.  As you revisit some old haunts of failure or pain, disappointment or rejection, you’re going to find that the Custom Designer has done an amazing job of transforming the look of the place.  Talk about an extreme makeover!

This room that looks like a dance studio?  Yeah.  Once that was the place of your deepest mourning.  That room with the view of the sunrise and the paintings of laughter?  You may remember the day it was painted dark grey with despair or depression.  And the beautifully painted room, all done in your favorite colors?   It once was covered with ashes.

Same rooms.  Same experiences.  Just redesigned.

Oh… and here’s your note:  Jesus was hereAnd He left you His name.

Did you know that He visited those days of despair and darkness long before you ever did?  Did you know that He personally transformed those experiences – not just to heal you, but to give you beauty, joy and praise?  Only one thing is missing:  a little gratitude from you.

So… wearing the hard hat of salvation, seeing through the safety glasses of perspective and wonder, let’s break out that bread and wine and remember… and confess our delight and joy… and be filled with the Spirit… and say, “Thank you.”

Gratitude for all things.  Not some things.  All things.  Thanks for the old feelings of sorrow or loneliness.  Thanks for the redemption of your sins and shortcomings.  Gratitude for the healing of your broken heart, and the liberation of your captured spirit. There is always a reason to give thanks when a person is filled with the Spirit.

After all, this is the Gratitude Tour.

The Rooms Under Construction

This isn’t easy.  Here you’ll find the dark rooms.  The waiting rooms.  The crime scenes and torture chambers.  Rooms with signs like, “Danger:  High Voltage,” “Emergency,” or “Condemned:  Keep Out.”

It’s hard to imagine how the Custom Designer will find anything to work with here.  I guess it’s a good thing that’s not your or my job.

We won’t stay here long.  But I did want you to see something.  You have a message here, too – just like the other rooms.  Jesus was hereAnd He left you His name.

Hmmm.  You mean He didn’t wait until everything was cleaned up, fixed up and prettied up to enter into that room?  Nope.  It’s His name that does the renovating. And here is the secret of gratitude.

You have the breathtaking privilege of bearing the name and the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Worthy?  No.  But bear it you do.  And in His name you can come to God the Father and give thanks.  Those elements of communion are traditionally called the Eucharist, or the giving of thanks.  The bread and the wine – the body and the blood of Jesus.  You always have that to be grateful for, in any circumstance.

Name any pain, any dark place, any wound you may carry, and know this –  Jesus died for that.  He shed blood and entered into that place long before you were ever born.  THAT is why you can give thanks.

His love and peace make the joys meaningful.

His presence and grace make the painful times bearable.  And even there you can give thanks.

So… wearing the hard hat of salvation, seeing through the safety glasses of perspective and faith, let’s break out that bread and wine and remember… and confess our need and weakness… and be filled with the Spirit… and say, “Thank you.”

After all, this is the Gratitude Tour.

 

I’m going to leave it with you now – I’m sure you have lots of other rooms to explore, and I think you have your bearings.  Just remember to keep wearing the hard hat of salvation and the grace-colored safety glasses.  And remember also to look for the evidence of the First Visitor to every situation.

This is, after all, your Gratitude Tour.

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Jon Paxton (Paxton Landscapes Greenville SC) November 28, 2011 at 7:54 pm

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