Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
How can we find God in a busy world? Seeing his hand in our daily lives. How do we do it? Perhaps it can be as simple as depending on the Lord for small daily help, the whispered prayer: “Lord, help me find my car keys”. Nothing wrong with that prayer, and sometimes he does help you, but not always. Perhaps it’s seeing his majesty and creation in a simple sunset or a wildflower or a baby’s laugh. How can any of these things exist without him?
Finding God in a busy world? David Kerrigan, of the Baptist Missionary Society in Britain, said, “I have encountered God in both expected and unexpected places”. One morning as I looked out the window of my hotel room, while on vacation in Ireland, I saw a most beautiful arc of many colours in the sky. As I stared at it for a moment, I realised I was finding God—finding God in rainbows just as I had found his presence in the pastures of grazing sheep, in the castles I toured, in the rolling hillsides, and in the streams and meadows as our travel coach made its way along the country roads.
The question is: how do we find God in the everyday situations of life? How do we find God in the everyday things that we do—or can we? Is God present in everything or only in those things that we would traditionally call holy? As hard as it is to imagine, we have to do just that. Let’s be real—It can be hard to see how God is present in the moments between opening your eyes and that first cup of coffee. You’ve barely gulped down your coffee, when a child who can’t find a textbook, or a colleague who wants a report on their desk in five minutes is calling your name. Sometimes in the grind of life God seems further away than that December holiday you’re waiting for. Can I discover God today when I’m so busy?
David Kerrigan remembered God’s word to Noah after the Great Flood described in the Bible: “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature… I have set my rainbow in the clouds… Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant… Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” (Genesis 9:12-17). I took comfort in those verses.”
If God is someone we encounter on Sundays alone, then our understanding of God will be seriously deficient. Finding God in the everyday is not a luxury to be experienced as an occasional treat, but a necessity. Without a sense of God’s presence, life becomes stale and lacking real purpose. This is the God who cares about our lives and loves, our work and our worries, our hopes and dreams, our successes and failures. “This is the God who walks with us to the summit and is there to meet us in the depths.”
How is God there? God made this whole world and gave life to each and every one of us who lives in it. We have to start by knowing that we are of value to God. Since we are created in the image and likeness of God then we are of value. No matter what our station in life, we are of value to God and the Kingdom. Once we have realised that, then we can move to the next step. That step is to see that everyone else has been created in the image and likeness of God and is of value—again, no matter what their station in life, they are children of God the same as you.
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I like what professor and worship leader Robert Webber says: “We do not have to live in a monastery to experience God’s embrace… The spiritual life is not an escape from life, but an affirmation of God’s way of life in the struggles we meet in our personal thoughts, in the relationships we have in the family, among our neighbours, at work, and in our leisure. The Christian life is an embodied life. It affirms that all of life belongs to God, and God is everywhere in life.”
I have read that Martin Luther was very critical of the church in his day for encouraging people to live as monks and nuns away from the regular population. His study of the Bible convinced him that a secluded life was no more ‘holy’ than the secular lives of ordinary people. In fact, God is the one who gave us our vocations—the different positions we have in life, such as child, spouse, parent, employee, employer, citizen, etc. We serve God best not when we separate ourselves from the world but by living out our faith in the real world.
God made us with purpose: that we be happy with God forever. Do you wonder sometimes what awaits you in the next life?