Where have you seen God?

BY AL EARLEY

Religion columnist

I am part of a wonderful ministerial association. To begin each month’s luncheon, we introduce ourselves, our ministry, and share something interesting about ourselves. This last question always caused people to wince and moan, “There is nothing interesting about what I have been doing.” I would always object and coach people to find something. They never disappointed us. This went on for years until there was a big rebellion and one of the ministers suggested we share where we have seen God instead. Everyone quickly agreed this was a great change, and the stories were wonderful.

This change occurred just a little before the covid quarantine. It would be many months before we could meet again. As we told our stories of where we had seen God they were powerful accounts of God’s mighty hand at work in our lives to assure us that no circumstances in this world can limit God’s power and presence in our lives.

Psalm 23 profoundly reminds us that God is always desiring to restore us, provide for us, and protect us. The first three verses say, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” That means we can see God in the big things, like the beauty of creation, the healing of a loved one, and the conversion of someone who never had faith in Jesus Christ.  We can also find God in things that may seem small like having food, clothes, and shelter, living in homes with water and electricity, and the many other things we easily take for granted.

I think it is important that we ask ourselves daily where God is in our lives. Just because we don’t notice the hand of God in our lives doesn’t mean God is not active and moving to draw us closer to Him and notice His love and desire for a relationship with Him.  One of the best things I do to teach me to “see” God’s mighty hand at work in my life is keep a Miracle Journal. Each day I write down the miracles I have seen God do in my life. There are days when my journal is full of amazing stories that people would agree, “That is a miracle.”  But there are other days when the “WOW” factor wasn’t there and I had to start learning to see God in everyday life. These miracles are just as important, more common, and teach me to be more thankful that God is always there for me in all the events of my life.

On a recent High Adventure with my scouts we hiked a 50-mile section of the Appalachian Trail. It challenged us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Our last day on the trail was a Sunday, and I shared that we would have worship and the crew would all help preach the sermon. They would each be asked to share where they had seen God this week. The stories were amazing. The scouts and their dads talked about humility, serving one another, being in awe of God’s creation, and experiences with answered prayer. When the worship service was over God had brought us closer to one another for having shared our stories of God with each other.

I highly recommend you take an opportunity this week to ask people where they have seen God. Ask your spouse and family during a meal. Ask your co-workers if the opportunity arises. Take your pastor out for lunch and pose the questions to him/her. Be quick to share your own story, and become an expert at seeing God’s hand at work in your life.

Where have you seen God this past week?  Have you ever kept a miracle journal to help you see God’s hand at work in your life more clearly?  Is it time to start keeping a miracle journal? Have you ever asked someone else where they have seen God?  Who would be a good person to ask? Who would be a good group to ask?  Could you practice by asking your Sunday School Class?

We say God is everywhere, but too often what that means for us is that God is nowhere. It becomes a generic statement that doesn’t mean anything. I hope you will find ways to see with greater clarity that God is everywhere, and look for opportunities to share your experiences with others

(To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles, see www.lagrangepres.org).