When you hear the word epiphany, what comes to mind?
The capitalized Epiphany
Twelve days after Christmas, typically January 6, millions worldwide celebrate Epiphany, commemorating when the wise men or magi visited Jesus. In some Eastern faiths, Epiphany marks Jesus’ baptism and his revelation to the world as the Son of God.
Merriam-Webster defines epiphany as:
1. January 6 is observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the Magi as the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles or in the Eastern Church in celebration of the baptism of Christ
2. : an appearance or manifestation, especially of a divine being
3. : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something or a revealing scene or moment
The celebration of Jesus’ manifestation to us as God Incarnate (the Word became flesh) changed humanity for eternity. No event or person did or will create a more significant impact or awareness. Many try to deny Jesus’ eternalness, but the evidence remains. Jesus is God and fulfilled more than 300 prophecies related to Messiah. Mathematically speaking, the probability of one person fulfilling only 48 specific Messianic prophecies is one in 10, followed by 157 zeroes. That’s a considerable number.
Gratitude for Jesus, the God-Man, changes your perception of life and struggles. That gratitude opens your eyes, heart, and mind to a deeper connection with God. And as you grow in your relationship with God, you become more observant of the gifts included in each day.
“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies.”
Epiphanies happen every day.
I love to watch children play. Give them a box, tape, crayons, paper, Legos, Lincoln Logs, or other similar toys, and observe what happens. Creative works of art. Ask the child about their project and discover a world overflowing with imagination. Often, I’ve experienced an epiphany about that child during these storytelling times. I get a glimpse into their nature, how their minds think, and what interests them.
Have you ever read a book, watched a movie, or listened to a friend relate a recent experience and suddenly understood something you hadn’t previously? That’s an epiphany. It might be about a pain point you’ve been processing, a question you’ve had without an answer, or a new insight into the person or issue. Capture these remarkable moments. Write them down. Allow yourself time to process what you’ve discovered.
Marriage epiphanies happen, too.
There’s no better time than now to look for a new understanding of your spouse. One of the exciting pieces of marriage involves daily learning something new (epiphanies) about your life partner.
Pay attention to what isn’t said as much as what is said. Or the simple off-hand comments, which include revealing clues about the other’s heart and thought process. During a recent work vacation, Dave and I discussed the coming year. Quietly, he revealed his heart to me about some unspoken fears and exciting dreams (epiphanies about his nature and character). Had I not focused on him and refused to be distracted during this conversation, I would have missed this precious perception. I smile as I write this because the epiphany helps me feel more connected to Dave.
One way to rebuild trust after a betrayal is to look for epiphanies.
You might discover positive and negative parts of your spouse’s character and nature. In these discoveries, you also gain insight into your character and nature.
About four months into our recovery process, God allowed a life-changing epiphany—I carried a “holier-than-thou” attitude toward my husband and others. A few weeks after this discovery, God graciously allowed a conversation with a woman in a Bible study. This woman and I had spent months and years studying the Bible together. This day, she quietly shared how she sensed a change in me. She said I was less judgmental. Ouch. Her risky sharing of her heart hurt, but it confirmed the epiphany. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God continued his refining work in me. I saw what I’d been blind to before.
While I wanted to believe that my healing depended on my husband getting his act together, another epiphany showed me the fallacy in that thinking. I discovered healing came when I partnered with God to become the woman he created me to be. God would work with Dave, too, with personal epiphanies.
Where do you feel blind today and need God to give you an understanding of your essential nature?
My challenge to you is to spend some time with God. Alone. In the quiet. I genuinely believe you miss epiphanies when you pack your days with activity. While you might feel uncomfortable initially developing a habit of quietness before God, that is the place you experience those divine manifestations.
Need some help? Reach out. I promise to listen without judgment and point you to the one who desires an intimate relationship with you.