BEATING DRUMS BRING GRATITUDE
I sit here on the balcony of our hotel room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, overwhelmed with gratitude and joy. Today is my birthday and I had an amazing, blessed day, showered with love by so many. Daniel also brought me to Disney World, to spoil me on a one day dream excursion.
But it wasn’t all this special treatment that has my eyes tearing up and my heart overflowing with thanksgiving. It is while I sit here in the dark night, almost midnight, overlooking the savannah, that I am reminded of a familiar time. The musicians continue to play in the distance. With pounding drums, rhythmic clapping, and singing voices, a beautiful and familiar sound consumes the atmosphere. Sitting here, I am reminded of one of the hardest seasons of my life. It was a time of painful loneliness that brought me to my knees seeking the face of God on a daily basis. I was a single woman living in a foreign country where I did not yet know the language, the culture, or the people. I didn’t have good friends living near me, with which I could talk, hang out, or depend upon. My home lacked the conveniences of life we are accustomed to, such as electricity, TV, air-conditioning, cell phones, a car, and a clothes dryer.
But in those darkest nights, I was left all alone, and forced to run to meet my Savior face to face, heart to heart. It was then that I came to understand his love and to experience just how reliable, satisfying, fulfilling, and good my Father was. He became my most trusted friend. And it was then, in the hardest season of my life, that I found the most resolute, complete joy my soul has ever known.
In the noise and chaos of life, it is easy to be distracted. And in the good seasons of life, it is easy to overlook gratitude. But in the painful seasons, the loneliness, the times that shatter us to pieces, if we lean into the Lord and seek His face, there our souls will find a peace and satisfaction this world can never give.
I’m thankful for the stillness of the night tonight. For the beating of the drums. Because they have called me to remembrance. And to a gratitude that far exceeds that which any person, or even the most magical place on earth can ever fulfill.