How to See God at Work
Contrary to popular belief, it's not difficult. I used to look at God as if He was some giant Spirit, doing everything He could to elude me. Jumping in and out of shadows, moving so quickly in the light before jumping behind some big proverbial rock before asking if I saw what He just did. I'd kick myself for missing it.
For a lot of years I believed that if I could be good enough, somehow live righteously enough, He'd reward me by coming out and letting me see Him. He'd give me some insight to what it was He was doing in my life. I'd get some "God-knowledge" and would feel better about the cyclone I lived in. It might make a little more sense.
If I could do/be enough to earn such insight.
That's not how He works. It's interesting how upside down God is compared to our culture and way of life. We live in a striving world - do more, be more, give more, take more... while God simply IS, and invites us to simply BE exactly as He created us to be without having to do anything to get there.
I've lived much of the last ten years asking one core question of God: Where are you? In this particular mess, where are you, Lord? Because if you are who you say you are (good, righteous, perfect, kind, etc.) then where are you in this pile of twisted ugliness?
It often came out like a dare, but He never took the bait. His answer was always the same: "I'm right here."
If His character is good, kind, merciful, joyful, beautiful, creative, loving, tender, peaceful, passionate, and more, it became my mission to find them. Where is the good? The merciful? Beautiful? If I could find those, then I could find God's hand. If I could find my Father's hand, then perhaps it would lead me toward His heart. Specifically His heart for me.
Nearly three weeks ago I was involved in a car accident. The Cadillac that had been gifted to me just three months earlier to replace my old beater was totaled. The car accident wasn't my fault, but it left me with a broken elbow, and sprained and strained neck and back. Where was God in that?
As I thought about the physics of what happened, my 70-pound dog hit the windshield and didn't go through it. In fact - she's in perfect health without a scratch or broken bone and still loves to go on a car ride.
My broken elbow looked like it might need surgery in the beginning. Lots of prayers, common sense care and a CT scan revealed surgery wasn't necessary after all.
The wave of help and support that came at me in the weeks that followed the accident brought me to tears just about every day. It amazed me how a home cooked meal delivered to my door, someone else washing my dishes, putting up my hair, lending me money, and allowing me to make up missed work hours so I can keep paying my bills made such a difference.
Such small acts of kindness were enormous to me. And, in a way only He can manage, God allowed those acts to reveal a lie I believed about myself. A lie that was preventing me from experiencing more of His graciousness, generosity and kindness.
We look for evidence to support what we believe. If we believe God isn't good, we'll look for all that isn't good to support that belief. Look at the terrorist acts, the school shootings, rising suicide rates and homicides, and we blame God. Why don't we take God at His Word and look for the evidence that supports who He says He is instead?
The last three weeks I've been in physical pain, an emotional tug of war and determined to walk the spiritual tight rope of truth that rises above both. It doesn't mean the pain goes away - it just means I thank God this body is a temporary costume in comparison to the eternal body I get in heaven and that no pain is permanent. The emotional tug of war doesn't wane, but I thank God for being a rock of truth regardless of what my emotions are telling me.
Seeing God at work isn't difficult because it's not a matter of catching Him in the act. It's a matter of being willing to see the fact that He isn't hiding or trying to evade being seen. He really is right here, waiting for you to notice Him in every good and perfect gift. Not just hitting every green light on your way to work, or finding the gas station with really cheap gas, or that quarter on the sidewalk, or the fresh cup of coffee in the morning.
His Son, Jesus Christ, and what has already been given through Him is the greatest gift. Your salvation that no one can take away. Your freedom that no one can remove. Your joy that no one can steal, because it's eternal and rises above every circumstance. So no matter what happens, He is at work when you believe what's already been done is greater and bigger than anything that happens now or in the future.
Can you see Him at work?