One of my little "quirks" when I read the Bible is to read the same passage in more than one version. Sometimes I really like the beautiful language of the King James Version. The New International Version is probably the most common for study. But for "getting the feel" of a passage, my favorite, bar-none, is The Message by Eugene H. Peterson. Written in modern, conversational language it's more like reading a novel. It isn't the best for studying scriptures, maybe, but it does give me a lot of moments where the fog lifts and I suddenly get it or see something new that I never got before.
This morning I was reading and underlining and highlighting and circling (yeah, my Bibles are a mess) and right there in the middle of 1 Thessalonians 2 I read one verse that spoke volumes, just volumes to my heart. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 in The Message says:
"And now we look back on all this and thank God, an artesian well of thanks!"
I looked up artesian well and it's defined as:
a well sunk through impermeable strata receiving water from an area at a higher altitude than that of the well, so that there is sufficient pressure to force water to flow upwards.
Basically, water from a higher level flows into rock at a lower level. As the rock strata fills it comes under pressure. All that water has to go somewhere. It seeks an outlet. All it needs is a small fissure and whooosh! it rushes upward, bubbling freely and endlessly outward.
Do you see where I'm going with this? God's blessings rain down from heaven and fill us. As we soak up those blessings and deepen our relationship with God, we (should) become so filled with joy and gratitude that we can't contain it. We have to let it out. We have to give it back to God. We have to share it with others.
My prayer today is that in our thanksgiving we would all bubble forth as freely and endlessly as an artesian well.