A Gift in Every Moment

dreamstime_xs_22245053Several years ago, I had the privilege of working at a retirement community as a chaplain. I learned so much from those that lived there- they had such a strong faith, wisdom gleaned through the years and a perspective that challenged my thinking every day. One day I was facilitating a Bible study and asked the question, “How do you experience God?” One man, without hesitation answered, “With every breath I take. With every breath I take, I experience the presence of God.” Awesome. What a reminder of God’s faithfulness, His unconditional love, His desire to be near to us, His heart for us. Immanel—God with us. As I reflect on this man’s statement, I also see that with every breath we take, we can experience God’s “presents.” Our lives – every breath – is another gift from Him. He gives us the gift of people and relationships. He gives us countless opportunities to enjoy, from new and exciting experiences to favorite moments to making a difference in the lives of people. He gifts the “little things” that aren’t really little at all, like laughter, sunsets, the smell of fresh brewed coffee, a beautiful snowfall or the prayer of a little one.  Even in the hardships and trials He brings forth the gifts of life lessons, wisdom and redemption. There is a gift in every moment if we just look for it. As we take notice, receive and unwrap His gifts every day, may we become so full that we give to others from a grateful, joy-filled and overflowing heart. Whether it’s encouragement, our time and availability, grace and forgiveness, love and respect, sharing life lessons or whatever He asks of us – from all that He has given, we have the joy of giving as well!