A Shepherd’s gift

Have you considered recently how much God loves you?  Little, insignificant, slightly quirky, not-at-all-perfect, YOU?

I woke up to a gorgeous sunrise Thursday morning.  Vibrant oranges, soul-deep purples, swirling blues, and hints of glowing, golden yellow.  It was breath-taking.  Especially since I consider each and every sunrise and sunset a love letter from Him.  Yes, I know – everyone can see the sunrise and sunset.  It’s not all that personal.  Except… except that every time I see one (breath-takingly brilliant or not) a very deep quiet fills my soul and I know that I know that I know that I am loved.  It’s almost as if I can feel His strong, muscular arms hugging me from behind while we watch His handiwork together.  And that is intensely personal.

And so mornings like Thursday, when I can practically feel God’s strong arms around me, make me think.  How many other sunrises that I didn’t quite get out of bed early enough to watch, am I missing?  How many other little gifts has He left for me throughout the day that I overlook, or worse, taken for granted?  And maybe, even worse than that, how many gifts has He offered me that I’ve thought weren’t really mine?  I thought I wasn’t good enough for; or that they were too good for me; I didn’t deserve them (as if any one of us can actually deserve anything God gives us).  How many things is He telling me that I just need to accept and start living a life that reflects what He tells me; what He thinks about me?

For instance, what if the shepherds hadn’t believed the angels that night?  What if those smelly, tired, more than slightly awkward shepherds thought that God couldn’t have meant that for them; or that they were imagining things.  Or that they needed to go take a bath before hunting down the Messiah.

But no, they didn’t.  They accepted the crazy gift God gave them, and then, in faith, went looking for it.  God hadn’t talked to His people in something like 400 years.  That’s crazy.  And then to be a lowly shepherd and actually believe that the glowy, singing host hovering in the sky above you really is a large choir of angels telling you about the Messiah, and not just you finally going crazy after hanging with the sheep too long, is a HUGE step of faith.

I want to live like that.  I want to live like Mary and the Shepherds.  I want to live a life of accepting (and pursuing) the gifts God has given me.  I want to live a life in search of the small ones He’s tucked away in the grumpy or busy minutes of my day.  I want to be like the shepherds and leave everything behind to go find what the angels are singing about.

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