BY: TCLeach at http://throughanewlens.blogspot.com
The dog days of summer have arrived in many parts of the country, even though we’re not even through June yet! I’ve been making the most of the hottest hours (11am-3pm) by dedicating my time to study and prayer. Before that, though, you will find me outside. This heat-wave got me thinking about how fearfully and wonderfully we are made, as a cool glass of water replenished me, and a small breeze refreshed me as the morning temperature climbed. I forget to be thankful for things like that. I forget to pay attention to the wonder and awe that makes up this functioning body, the mind attached to it and the spirit that fills it. I am, we are, indeed, fearfully and wonderfully created!
There is a physical condition that limits my ability to walk. It’s caused by a sum total of the years I neglected to make healthy choices. Since the beginning, The Father has given us clear healthy eating Instructions, and commanded us not to be gluttonous or lazy. His Instructions teach us to be disciplined and strong and to get wisdom and understanding. Not everyone has limitations that were (over time) self-inflicted, but if you do, perhaps you can identify with this statement: It’s not a wonder that I am walking with a limp, but a wonder I am walking at all! And so, when I am in prayer, I give thanks for still being able to get everything done in the day that is set before me. During the several breaks that I have to take before I walk forward again is a great time for me to think about the fact that I am learning to walk in HaShem’s Statutes and Commands! I share this personal information with you because I believe that as I do my part, He will bring healing to me. Fearfully and wonderfully, these bags of flesh are designed to heal. Wounds close, scabs protect, new skin recovers. Our organs keep everything in balance, and can be kept healthy by proper nourishment, or made healthy by the same thing. Constant renewal occurs in our bodies, something to be oh, so thankful for! And don’t even get me started on my gratitude for tastebuds! He didn’t have to create us with them…but He did. Enough said. Every day, I will be thankful for the body I have, and yield it to The Father, for He knit it together Himself. ‘Tis a gift to open our eyes each morning, may we never cease to be thankful for it!
The most complex thing we have to be thankful for bounces around between our two ears. In a time when Alzheimer’s Disease is rampant, and that mental disorders are at an all-time high (with new names added to the spectrum often) I am learning, albeit slowly, to be thankful for this functioning brain. Like our bodies, our brains require nourishment and exercise. Studies even show that a high sense of self-awareness is combative against Alzheimer’s Disease, and an array of other disorders. We must think about the fact that we can think! How fearful and wonderful is that? For many years, I let my thoughts run rampant, not knowing that they belonged to me. I believed, in my immaturity, that my thoughts came through me, but not from me. Once I took hold of them and began learning to master them, I noticed my own brain in a whole new way. I can learn, I can clearly express myself, and I can discern when my thoughts are going in the wrong direction, and set them back on track. I learned to do this by studying Scripture, where I find fear of The Father, the beginning of all understanding. Since I stepped away from idolatry, HaShem has had me studying my own being (through my new lens) and studying the countenances of others, their being. I am watching for signs of His light in them, and in myself. This both exercises my brain AND helps me to be more aware of others, as well as myself, and the needs that are common or unique to us all. Look for more to come on that subject in the near future. Yep, that gray matter in our heads is a gift, let’s take good care of it and may we never cease to be thakful for it!
Fearful and wonderful is this inner self of mine…and yours! Call it spirit or soul. Calł it essence or Divine Spark. Call it tears or laughter. It is who we are by design, and not accident. It is here that we are created in HaShem’s image, if you ask me. Since He has no form or shape, our limbs are not in His likeness. So what is? This. The part of us that loves. The part that sees beauty. The part that mourns or dances with joy. I am appreciating a different and new facet of this soul of mine, since being out of Christianity. I am seeing how my soul operates in the here and now, which I know is connected to the eternal. I am learning about the strengths and weaknesses that are all part of who I am. Thankfully, our soul has a sense of humor, another attribute we can know is in His image. The things about us that can’t be seen define us just as much as our physical traits. I am so thankful I am created to be kind, gentle, full of mercy and justice and loving. Made in His likeness, we have the capacity cultivate them all. May we never cease to be thankful for all of the invisible traits bestowed upon us!
Oh, I’m learning so much as I learn to be thankful in a whole new way! Being truly thankful to be alive is how I plan to start each day from now on. We’d do well to pay attention to the things we have the capacity to do, learn and feel. Certainly HaShem merits our on-going gratitude for these abilities. Certainly He deserves our honor and praise for how we’re designed. And most certainly He is worthy of all glory for making us fearfully and wonderfully! “See” you next week, stay cool and stay thankful!