Today I am spending Thanksgiving with my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins in Portland, Oregon. This trip has been long overdue as they have lived here for now 4 years and this is my first time in Portland, ever.
As I was landing yesterday I was immediately struck with the view of the clouds, the mountains, the water, and the trees. Trees colored with green, yellow, and red.
The city is a city but with so much nature and so much small town charm that I can't believe this is real. I love it here so much already.
Waking up this morning I looked out my window and saw the rain and the yellow leaves coating the street and saw the park across the street. And I felt my soul being fed by it. I was reminded in the midst of a year devoted to special revelation how much general revelation speaks to my soul as well.
General revelation vs. Special revelation: God reveals Himself to us. He reveals Himself to us, He does not leave us wondering.
He reveals Himself to us in the creation around us, the goodness and beauty we see in relationships, and countless other ways. In fact in Romans 1:20 it says "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." He has revealed Himself so generally that we are left without excuse if we said we did not know there was God. All of these things are what we call general revelation.
He reveals Himself to us in His Word and in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. He reveals Himself in ways that are spelled out. He reveals Himself in miracles and supernatural things that can't be explained by science or any other worldly concept. This is what we call special revelation.
Today being in Portland on Thanksgiving was really special for me. Besides the fact that I am finally seeing where my family lives, I love the reminders around me of how God speaks so clearly and beautifully in the creation around me.
Seeing the stars, the leaves, the clouds, feeling the crisp air and walking around in it was just a huge blessing to me today: a day to give thanks for.
But I was also able to look back on all the things I have blogged about the past few weeks, the things I am grateful for. And I was really encouraged to see that even though I often was frustrated each day "Oh yah, that's another thing I have to do, why did I decide to do this" and I didn't think I was coming up with much every day...I was able to go through and write everything down everything I have been writing about and I filled so many pages with things I am grateful for.
It all goes to show how powerful just a mere 2 minutes a day spent giving thanks is. I love that we celebrate a holiday called "Thanksgiving." It's such a beautiful concept and it's such a Christ-like thing.
This Thanksgiving day was a particularly powerful one for me surrounded by all the beautiful nature, being somewhere I've wanted to visit for such a long time, but also because I was prepared for the day with weeks worth of thought about gratitude. Yes, today was called "Thanksgiving" but every day can be thanksgiving day because we have so much to be grateful for every single day.
And I wish I could think of a better less cheesy sentence to wrap things up than that, but it's true. And when you are practicing gratitude, it's not cheesy. It's a discipline and it really actually makes a difference.
I am grateful for general revelation. I'm learning how blunt Scripture is and even though I already knew that, staying with blunt and harsh passages of Scripture day after day is not exactly encouraging. It doesn't mean it's less amazing to me and that it doesn't feed my soul and it also is just about God so it's not that any of this should even hinge on whether it positively affects me or not. But today it was really satisfying, gratifying and encouraging that God revealed Himself to me in other ways today.
I just can't get enough of Him.