Recently we marveled together at this blessed life we have been given, bathing our thoughts in gratitude, feeling His Love of us. Some additional inspirations later sprang from that for us to noodle further together.
Here is a paragraph from that week’s Shabbat encouragement about gratitude:
“The list [to be grateful for] is truly endless – waking up each morning, being alive each day, being able to get out of bed, or if not, being in bed in a comfortable home, having enough food, having a phone to connect with others, perhaps having a car if so blessed, and on and on and on. What about the truly amazing list – being able to read or listen to the Daily D’var, our daily Scripture study, having access to meaningful worship services, being able to pray daily, seeing His Presence during our times of struggle and illness, knowing we are not alone, being part of a community of believers in Yeshua, and on and on and on.”
True, these are things for which we should be grateful. Yet perhaps another way to look at these is that these are the gifts, the blessings, our Abba bestows by His actions. Let’s say it another way:
“The list is truly endless – He wakes us each morning, breathes life into each day, helps us to get out of bed, or if not, provides a bed in a comfortable home, provides enough food, blesses us with a phone to connect with others, perhaps a car if so blessed, and on and on and on. What about the truly amazing list – He gave us the Daily D’var, our daily Scripture study, reigns over and is with us at our worship services, hears our prayers daily, is with us during our times of struggle and illness, is always with us so we are never alone, is part of our community of believers in Yeshua, and on and on and on. “
All of these are blessings, gifts He gives to us through His relationship with us. Our Abba through Yeshua is actively in relationship with us. Even when not in a “miraculous” way, He evidences Himself in our lives by these gifts, and in so many other ways.
Blessings are expressive gifts of His Love to us. They include each breath we take. When we show gratitude, that is good, for we are acknowledging receipt. We are responding as one would when in relationship with another, as we are with Him, like saying “thank you” to another’s giving of flowers, candy, kindness. As our hearts are filled with gratitude they are changed. In place of thoughts of self, love fills our hearts, and that expressed love completes the divine circle of love as we praise Him, thank Him, worship Him.
When we go even further to seek Him, to want His Presence even when we can’t feel the blessings, we deepen our love relationship. Those are the times that test our love. He never disappoints, but sometimes makes us wait. We, on the other hand, when challenged, as humans sometimes struggle to love Him during times of darkness. Such is the nature of any love relationship, times when it is easier to love than at other times. The amazement of our relationship with God, however, is that He never disappoints if we have the patience, perseverance, steadfast love, and trust in Him.
So on that day on the beach when I saw the butterfly shaped clam shell and some time later when Sid and I walked among the numerous mussel shells and felt like we were walking in a field of butterflies, we could have felt it was just that, a beautiful walk among shells. Yet when we experienced the big picture, the perfect timing of the events, the unusual configuration of the mussel shells, Sid and I perceiving the same imagery, I could see this experience was an intended gift of love from our Creator. My eyes and heart became open to see and receive His Love due to a heightened state of gratitude in that moment, which only elevated even higher as He allowed more glimpses of His Divine Love. When gratefulness filled my heart with love, the divine circle of love – God to us, us to God – was completed, deepening our relationship even further.
When such synchronistic experiences happen as I often describe, it is as if our Abba is giving us a glimpse of life through His eyes, the perfect orchestration, the caring details that we would understand, the eyes of love. As we seek Him in our relationship, He provides such amazing moments of Him.
Through loving relationships with others is how we spread the Good News, the model for which is in our very relationship with God, through Yeshua who is with us in every moment. As He loves us, so do we love others, and so bring His Love to all.