"It takes practice to see the grace of God in everyday life," says Marjorie J. Thompson in her book, "Soul Feast". By noticing the Holy One’s hand in our lives, we count our blessings. And - I swear this is true in my life - by noticing the wondrous synchroncities we are blessed with, we increase their frequency. It is as if heaven delights in our gratitude and wants to send us more blessings. Or perhaps it is just that we become attuned to recognizing the grace of God in ever smaller ways.
It seems that when I least expect it, I sense the presence of the Divine in my life. I might feel a tingle on my chin - a sure sign that angels or the Holy One is seeking my attention - or I might receive an email or phone call that just seems too perfect, too divinely timed to be entirely of this world. It is then that I know that I experience the grace of God. Even when I feel like I’m not paying enough attention to my relationship with God, I’ll notice or feel or sense something that I just know comes from the Divine.
Sometimes it is quite dramatic. Yesterday, I was a little discouraged with my work - experiencing writer’s block and feeling overwhelmed with a number of half-finished projects. So I went to the gym at lunchtime to get some endorphins flowing and started my usual workout on the elliptical machine. I was trying to read a magazine to divert my mind, when all of a sudden, I felt a presence. I looked up from the magazine, out the window to the trees, and suddenly I had an inner knowingness that I was being spoken to. The Divine message I received was this: "I have gotten you this far, so how could I abandon you now? I will bring you everything you need. You need only give up your burdens and worries to me. Remember the passage from Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
I started to weep right there on the elliptical machine at the gym. I felt so loved, surrounded and supported by the love of God. And then I felt stupid - getting all choked up at the gym! Get a grip, girl! I bit my lip to stop the tears and finished my workout. I walked out of the gym a changed woman - with a smile on my face and a lightness in my step.
How can you practice recognizing the grace of God in your life? Here are three questions that you can ask yourself at bedtime as you examine your day.
- How did the Divine work in my life today?
- When was I the recipient of God’s grace today?
- What am I grateful for today?
You can answer the questions in your journal, talk to someone about them, incorporate the questions into your evening prayers or just think about them as you prepare for bedtime. Of course, God doesn’t send just cheery, hippy-skippy messages to us all the time. We also receive challenges through divine messengers. Consider the message in your challenges - what is it that I need to learn in this situation? Is there another perspective that I can adopt here to see this differently? Where is the miracle in this situation?
By noticing, we are blessed.