Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary refers to the times when we experience, “a sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension” as,“Aha!” moments. When they happen, they typically grab our attention as we realize an adjustment needs to be made in our perspective.
My first, “Aha!”moment. as a young adult took place when I was 19. I was talking to a customer at my dad’s dry cleaners while waiting for his order to be put together. Mr. White was a postman who had watched my brother and I grow up serving customers for many years. As we waited for his last pair of pants to be pressed, Mr.White and I were enjoying a jovial conversation about the qualities I was looking for in the man I would consider marrying. Mr. White laughed as I chattered, quite enjoying the mostly one-sided conversation. It wasn’t until there was a lull in my chattering that Mr. White spoke these words: “Those are amazing qualities you’re looking for, Kathie. But have you ever thought about what you have to offer such a man?” I can remember feeling my inflated ego burst like a balloon, as I inwardly realized that I had a lot more to think about (and work on!), if marriage was to ever be in my future!
For Christians committed to living an intentional faith, “Aha!” moments can be important markers of spiritual growth and maturity. They happen fairly frequently working in the Counseling Room, as each Session is opened with a prayer asking God to, “Direct the path of our conversation.” He continually proves Himself faithful, by leading us to Scripture that lends insight and direction to navigate through the problem(s) the Client is facing.
Here is an example of such a moment that happened a few weeks ago:
As I watched and listened to an already stressed Client list the things that contribute to her anxiety, I could see an expanding mountain of guilt threaten to overwhelm her. As I listened, a verse from Proverbs came to the forefront of my mind:
“She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.”
It is a beautiful picture of a godly woman who trusts and honors God with her life. Even so, I tried to ignore the verse because I knew that it is part of the description of “The Wife of Noble Character.”* Thought by many as being a guilt-inducing, daily “to-do” list–myself included-–the passage exalts a woman who buys fields, plants vineyards, manages her household and feeds the poor while her husband spends his time sitting at the city gate! (As one already depressed and anxious Client asked me years ago–“Does this woman ever sleep?!!!”) When viewed as an impossible “to do” list, the passage can be overwhelming!
However, trusting that the Holy Spirit had brought the verse to my mind for my Client, I felt convicted that we should at least go to the passage. When we did, my heart softened as I saw the passage with fresh eyes. Rather than being a daily”to-do” list, I saw the Proverbs 31 passage as a picture of a life dedicated to trusting and honoring God over time. To be clothed with strength and dignity, and to no longer be overwhelmed by fear and anxiety, is to rely on God every moment of every day.
With that insight, the passage became a picture of beautiful possibilities to be worked out–as God guides His own through the challenges that WILL come.
In reading verse 25 as God’s goal for His children and then looking at the passage as being worked out over a lifetime, both my Client and I experienced the refreshment of an “Aha!” moment. Suddenly, wisdom and hope replaced guilt and anxiety as we understood that we are to no longer rely on ourselves but look to God as our faithful Shepherd.
Weeks later, that insight continues to inspire and encourage me and several other Clients I have shared it with.
Do you have an “Aha!” moment you can share that God gave you? Here’s your opportunity to pass the blessing you received on, by writing it in the comments below.
All to His Glory!
I love this post, dear Kathie! These paradigm shifts always are so insightful. I had one yesterday.
Someone had littered candy wrappers all over the path I had taken. It made me so mad. Just like in Hansel and Gretel these pieces of paper were strewn all over the beautiful early morning woods. While I was getting angrier about this offense, I “heard”, “Pick them up!” I was so mad, but picked them all up, one at a time. When I came to a garbage can, I dropped them in. At that very moment I felt the Lord take all my anger about the litterer and his mess. If felt like He said silently, “Remember, you only carry things for a short time!” It was at that moment I was able to see the beauty in the walk again. Since the “AHA” I have thought of so many things I only carry for a short while. For some reason it has made them lighter 🙂
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Thanks for sharing, Heidi. He really does make everything lighter when we follow His instructions!
In relation to Mr White’s question, “What do u have to offer?” I was struck in a similar way by a quote from a poem Eleanor Roosevelt kept in her wallet throughout WWII…
“Dear Lord, / Lest I continue / My complacent way, / Somehow out there / A man died for me today. / As long as there be war, / I then must / Ask and answer / Am I worth dying for?”
What a powerful reminder that our day-to-day choices matter! Thank you for sharing! ❤️
“Does this woman ever sleep?” 🙂
Mr. White was a wise man. You are also very wise, Kathie.
Thank you, Bill. That’s high praise coming from someone l deeply respect.❤️
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I agree, Kathie, the Proverbs 31 woman (not a real person, but an “ideal”) did not accomplish all those tasks in a week but over time. Perhaps the poet, King Lemuel, was aiming to cover the cycle of tasks for an entire year. Verse 21 talks about when it snows; v. 24 talks about linen garments, which sound like summer wear to me. Your take is even better: See the list as beautiful possibilities! As for a recent, personal “Aha” Moment: I came across these statements in Streams in the Desert by L. B. Colman (revised by Jim Reimann): “You can trust the Man who died for you. You can trust Him to thwart each plan that should be stopped and to complete each one that results in His greatest glory and your highest good. You can trust Him to lead you down the path that is the very best in this world for you.” A long-protracted project has me wondering at times if I’m on the right path. This devotional passage gave me fresh perseverance.
Thank you for your insights, Nancy. I can relate to your “long-protracted project” that has you wondering if you’re on the right path, having found myself in a similar quandary a time or two! What I have learned is that even in those instances, when I’ve confessed my need for His wisdom and perspective, There have been times when I have had to swallow what I refer to as “a humility pill” or two, but He has always been faithful to provide the insights needed to get to the other side. Thanks again for writing! 😊