For the past several weeks I have not been able to write a Shabbat encouragement. I have always felt that I would not put a weekly expectation on myself about these writings, but rather, “when the Spirit moved me”, I would then have something to share with you.
Since returning from our extended time in Florida, my life has been overflowing with challenges on multiple levels. Not to mention two months of mail, immediate tax filing preparation, and multiple medical and dental appointments, there have been financial and situational challenges as well. Lots of irons in the fire. So my neshama, my soul, my sense of centeredness has been diminished by life’s realities. Without that inner peace, it has been difficult to find my deepest connection to my Abba, and my inspiration to write has been hampered. I have not had time, or perhaps taken time, for those special times with God.
This morning I watched a very moving “Goalcast” about Lady Gaga. It recounted her lifelong problems with self esteem and the ability to find her inner beauty. Especially in her recent film “A Star is Born”, she was able to truly have art imitate life as she worked through her vulnerabilities. While making the film, she discovered her true inner beauty, but only was able to do so with the support of those around her who gave her comfort and love in her times of weakness.
In mystical Judaism there is a belief that at creation a divine urn was shattered and that sparks of divinity were sent into each of us. This spark of divinity, this essential goodness, is what we strive during life to reach through our focus on HaShem, to be returned to Him. Yet most of us struggle with our inadequacies, even true of the most confident and successful people we know. To make the challenge more intense, life throws its curve balls at us individually and corporately as we struggle to understand sinful and destructive relational behavior and horrific world events.
In the quiet moments, when we can speak with our Abba, we are given the opportunity to reconnect with that small piece of Him that dwells within each of us. We can take strength in feeling the presence of Yeshua walking with each of us through the struggles and rest in His mercy, slumber in the shadow of His wings. Our Abba’s steadfast love can recharge our inner sparks. We can be bolstered in our walk by our brothers and sisters in Him.
As this Shabbat approaches, I encourage you to close your eyes, pray, seek inner peace, and take fellowship in community to help you make each day one filled with shalom.