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If you want joy, look for the accents in your life. Look for the subtle ways that God communicates. Look for the ways -- so quietly, so humbly -- that He is guiding you.

Do you know what is meant by the "accents"?

God is a subtle Sovereign. He pushes nothing down our throats. So much does He respect free will that He is not usually brazen with His miracles.

Instead, His miracles come by accenting what is there before us in our lives, among our loved ones, and especially in nature.

He uses others to nudge us. He sets something before us. He limns the horizon of life with coincidence.

At a time when it means something, you spot a special flower. A rose is especially red. There is an unusual sunset. The sun rises and a beam of its light falls right on you. What you cook has a special little touch that gives it unusual flavor. Events move smoothly -- nearly seamlessly. There is a gentle rain that seems to speak to you. A bird peeps at a particular moment. In an hour of angst -- of depression -- you pray and the clouds slowly part.

God speaks through nature but does so in a way that does not broadcast nor flare (like neon) nor do anything to infringe upon our choices, which would compromise the tests of life.

In the realm of "signs," many are the photographs that are just slightly inexplicable -- not enough to declare as miracles, but a communication to those with a sensitivity to the movement of the Spirit.

The same is true of answers to prayers: many healings have that edge of the supernatural, but can not be proven as such.

The Lord prefers anonymity! He is too humble to take credit.

But He does not leave us alone. Look at the tides, how just a slight nuance of the gravity from the moon moves entire oceanic systems. The ocean shifts in a way that is barely perceptible but in the course of an hour or two alters the very shore -- contracts a beach, or expands it, revealing hidden things.

There are also the tides in our lives: one day the waves are favorable, the next they are not. One day everything goes our way. We'd like to bottle it. We'd like to repeat it at will. But we cannot. We go through favors one day and tests the next. As the  tide goes out, sometimes it is favorable; it gives more sand. Other times, it can create dangerous currents. Every time, it varies according to location and time.

Fall and rise, rise and fall. These are the vicissitudes of life.

When we accept them, we transcend them; we enjoy even the challenges; we fear not the currents. We "ride the waves."

What has God accented for you? What has He sent of late? What is the pattern of His "small" consolations in your life?

Meditate on them and you will find answers.

We enjoy each little accent that directs us, or consoles us, or simply gives us joy.

And we enjoy the flow of His rhythm to a song that we will appreciate in full melody only in the hereafter.

[resources: The God of Miracles]

[Michael Brown retreat, Wisconsin: your mission in life, how God will see you]


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