I don't normally write two blogs in one week.
When the Spirit whispered this morning that I need to write this blog NOW, I flinched...
My first thought was, "But I have already written one blog this week! No one is going to want to hear from me again!"
And then He reminded me that it's not me who writes these blogs, but Him.
So, this morning I was playing catch-up in the book we use for Wednesday night Bible study: The Good and Beautiful God - falling in love with the God Jesus knows.
Now don't abandon me here...I'm not going to go all preachy on you.
But I am going to entice you to do some thinking as you move throughout your day...
With eyes wide open and an expectant heart.
As I wrote in a previous blog this week, times of sorrow and loss and challenge can hit us in the gut and leave us reeling...
And wondering, "Where is God in the midst of this?"
The answer comes in knowing God...His nature...who He is.
Faith is not blind...we do not hand over earthly treasures to someone we do not know.
That is called foolish.
In the same way, we cannot trust a God we do not know.
How can we know God is good, when all around us we see brokenness and pain and suffering?
But what else do we see?
It depends what we are looking for...
Yesterday, while out walking, I heard a song that I have been homesick for since last Fall...the call of the Summer Tanager.
It is a glorious, elusive bird that lives high up in the tree canopies, making it difficult to see, especially when the leaves come out.
It is blood red, like a Cardinal on steroids...
An amazing bird that spends its Winters in southern Mexico and Central America, every year returning to the South/Southeastern United States to breed...a trip of thousands of miles...twice a year.
And every year, when I hear its first call, I want to fall on my knees and worship a Creator that made such an incredible creature.
Want another example of amazing? The Ruby-Throated hummingbird! It, too, travels the same route year after year after year, often over the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, to mate and breed here and then head out again on that same dangerous journey south in the Fall.
I was with a friend the other day when a bubbling, gurgling sound drew my eyes skyward..."Purple Martins!" I exclaimed.
My friend, ever patient with my quirks, remarked that I sure was attuned to birds.
Yes I am.
Because they bring me joy.
I love quiet mornings on my deck, steaming mug of coffee in hand, listening to birds sing the world to life.
I delight in rambles through the woods, time spent in gardens, hikes through the mountains.
Coffee and chocolate, books and movies, dear friends and family...
These are all gifts from a God who knows me, and what brings me joy.
I can choose to accept these gifts...or push away the hand that provides them...
But what a blessing I would miss!
For these gifts strengthen me, often enabling me to get through the difficult parts of my day...the monotonous, not-so-desired times when it's an act of my will to put one foot in front of the other.
God knows me. He knows you.
He knows what brings us joy and refreshment...what will give us a glimpse of Him in the chaos called life.
But we have to have eyes to see and ears to hear these gifts...
And then a heart willing to embrace them and give thanks for them...
Or we will miss them.
"A lecturer to a group of businessmen displayed a sheet of paper in which was one blot. He asked what they saw. All answered, "A blot." The test was unfair, it invited the wrong answer. Nevertheless, there is an ingratitude in human nature by which we notice the black disfigurement and forget the wide-spread mercy. We need to deliberately call to mind the joys of our journey. Perhaps we should try to write down the blessings on one day. We might begin: we could never end: there are not pens or paper enough in all the world. The attempt would remind us of our "vast treasure of content."
Today, let us deliberately call to mind the joys of our journey...
All provided by a God who loves us passionately and provides gifts and blessings...
Even in the storms.
Dear one, there are 10,000 reasons for our hearts to sing...
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/38621030@N07/8368423723">Male Summer Tanager (piranga rubra)</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>