Monday, August 13, 2012
For months, the tug of war keeps repeating. The passions and selfishness of my mortal body wage war against the law of my mind where God is on the throne. A struggle with the sin of my flesh as Paul describes in Romans 7. I see a new battle on the horizon. I know the good that I want to do as the occasion ahead arrives, but I know too well from the past, that I may not win this war. I'm feeling disheartened. Oh Lord, how can I emerge victorious?
This morning, with kids conversing in the background while munching on the once-in-a-very-rare-while treat of Lucky Charms, God reveals a mystery. Still parked in Romans 7, and reading about Paul's wrestle, letting it sink in, I read verse 24-25, "Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" What I've found interesting for weeks if that "thanks" in the NASB is Strong's G5485, charis. I recall this word well after reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It's greek for grace, God's gift that cause us joy. Digging deeper, and looking to other translations, I see that in the KJV, "thanks" is labeled with Strong's G2168, eucharisteo, which contains the root word charis, but means to be give thanks for the the gift of grace that causes joy. I am struggling to see how gift and joy fits into this context. (I may be slow to connect the threads.) I review my notes from One Thousand Gifts. In Voskamp's work, she studied all the different occasions eucharisteo occurs in the New Testament. One of them is John 11:41, when Jesus prays and thanks God for hearing him right before Lazarus is raised from the dead. Eucharisteo-thanksgiving-always precedes the miracle.
In that moment, the lightbulb goes on! Yes, I know that Jesus is the only way I can be free from the slavery of sin, but the vehicle He uses to set me free might just be eucharisteo!
As I face the situation ahead which I expect to be a struggle and doubt I can emerge mature and complete in my faith, is all I need eucharisteo? I believe it! From making my list of 1000 gifts, I have seen God completely change my attitude and heart in tough situations by intentionally naming the gifts He does give, why would he not also set me free now as I give thanks? Yes, I will start my list of thanks, fully expecting eucharisteo to precede the miracle!