Manna Joy

For thirty days I have been counting joys, counting eucharisteo and basking in thanksgiving.  For thirty days I have been grasping life by the tail and living, really living in every moment.   For thirty days I have put pen to paper and bled my heart in my journal while numbering 1000 gifts.  Some of those days the joys were boundless and I felt as if I could write for ever.  Some of those days the joys were hidden beneath doubt, fear and discontent. 

Some of those days meant finding joy through tears.

There are days when counting the joys feels hopeless ā€“ when it feels as if I am running away from reality and straight into crazy.  There are times, when I wonder if it is truly the joy that has taken over or whether I am slowly counting steps to insanity.  And, there are certainly days where packing it in – the counting, the numbering of thanksgivings — feels better than pushing through to find the miracles.  And then I remember Ann Voskamp and her simple statement: “Eucharisteo alwaysprecedes the miracle” (emphasis added)

“Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle” 

Eucharisteo preceded the miracle of cross – as Jesus broke bread with His disciples He gave thanks.  He gave eucharisteo – thanksgiving .  He did this knowing that the miracle of salvation was dependent upon His willing sacrifice.   

Imagine grace and thanksgiving before the crucifixion.  Before my sin pressed His broken and battered body to the roughened, splinter-ridden beam of an ugly cross.  Imagine grace and thanksgiving before dying a horrible death, a criminal’s death (Philippians 2:8), a physically taxing death.   Jesus knew what was to come, knew of the torture, knew of the pain, the shock and agony His body would endure.  He knew it to the very core of His being as He broke bread and gave thanks – Eucharisteo.  He knew, He knew. “Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle.” 

Should we not then, drown our lives in thanksgiving?  Does God not “know the hopes of the hopeless?” (Psalm 10:17).  Will He not reveal to us the miracle of eucharisteo?

So I move forward with joy, even on the days when my heart is dragging and I can feel the pressure of anxiety and worry bubbling over and my joy is uttered between clenched teeth in a crazy attempt to enter the miracle. 

On those days when I am feeling pressure, when it feels as if my head and my heart are incongruent  and I want nothing more than to cower and hide from the hurt and pain to protect my heart  (Psalm 11:1); when I feel hopelessness crack and shatter my joy I attempt to hold and gather my thanksgiving, my gifts in my arms until I can hold no more.  I press all of this close to me and hold it with fierce determination so that I don’t lose one single scrap. 

I press and I clasp all of my counted joys, I hoard them, like the Israelites hoarding manna. When I do this I move further away from God.  I run and hide and hoard and my joy becomes stale, stagnant, maggot filled (Exodus 16), because what if it runs out?  What if my joy runs out?

The harder I press my joy in, hold it close the more short sighted my vision becomes of the One who gave me joy.    

The one who sacrificed so that I can freely ask in his name and will “receive, and… will have abundant joy.” (John 16:24) Abundant joy.  Abundant – marked by great plenty, amply supplied – I will have the miracle of joy.

There is enough God.  There is enough.  So I will empty my heart and my thoughts, I will empty my spirit of pre-conceived notions of joy and let God fill me with abundance.   So I can live joy and give joy in abundance.

“Eucharisteo alwaysprecedes the miracle.” – Ann Voskamp.

2 Comments

  1. Jeff Nevin

    You write like a poet!

  2. Grateful there is enough God, and for how He fills us as we empty ourselves, and give thanks…wonderful layers of truth and hope in your writing…blessings, Tonya šŸ™‚

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