At Yom Kippur services this week I was intrigued by a phrase we say often, but now spoke to me in a new way. In the Machsor Amidah translation, we praise HaShem with the expressions “Shield of Abraham and Visitor to Sarah”.
Sarah who I think was near ninety when she conceived is as miraculous an event as Miriam, a maiden giving birth to Yeshua. For some reason this year the parallel just jumped out. I pondered the birthing of Isaac and the Jewish people as a light to the Nations as would be Yeshua in such a divine way many years later. It was as if our Abba was revealing yet another clue to help our Jewish brothers and sisters understand that Yeshua is who He said He was. If HaShem could bring forth birth to a woman past child bearing age, why so hard to believe He could bring Yeshua to us through Miriam?
And yet, how often in our lives, when we don’t want to recognize a truth do we downplay its importance? Or explain it away? We know that what we eat affects our health, and yet, we can rationalize our often bad choices despite the clear evidence to the contrary. We know that being chronically late negatively impacts others, and yet, we repeat our bad habits.
If we act this way ignoring clear cause and effect, how much more likely are we to disregard situations we observe that are beyond explanation? Times that we are being challenged to stop trying to control and being offered opportunities to trust that God is real and in our lives? For it is when we start to listen to our better inner voices, and act accordingly, that we ready ourselves to listen to He whose voice is beyond words.
It is hard to trust the miraculous until we start with trusting ourselves, and specifically the part of ourselves that is that little voice leading you to make good choices. As we experience the goodness that flows when we do, our Abba readies us to see him at work with the truly miraculous. When we eat sensibly, we improve our health. When we are on time, life around us is less stressful. As we set the insect free rather than kill it, we are shown the beauty in its wings. As we relax in stopped traffic and instead focus on the trees along the crowded highway, we are made aware of the radiant fall splendor, His gift to us.
As we dwell in that place near to Him in these small moments, our Abba readies us for even more profound miracles, the ones to come as in the lives of Sarah and Miriam.