“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
The Cardinal, beautiful and resplendent in its red coat, stood out among the green pines. He sat perched and attentive on the branch, surveying his surroundings. I snapped the camera incessantly in an effort to capture the image of this stunning creature of God. He appeared in an instant, rested among the dense conifers, then abruptly took flight, disappearing from my sight.
God’s magnificent handiwork is often observed in such snapshot moments. Opportunities to recognize and appreciate the majesty of God are not infrequent but go largely unnoticed. It is not that God is obscure and illusive, but that our frenzied and perpetual activities preclude us from practicing and acknowledging the presence of God in our daily lives. As God-consciousness is prayerfully developed and intentionally pursued, ones senses are awakened and awesome wonder replaces mediocrity.
Many years ago, through the teachings of David and Karen Mains, I began to apply a practice that purposefully aided me in developing a recognition of God and His involvement in my daily activities. Karen Mains outlined four basic principles for hunting and finding God by searching for God through: 1) any obvious answer to prayer; 2) any unexpected evidence of his care; 3) any help to do God’s work in the world; and 4) any unusual linkage or timing. Through the application of these principles, I began to capture snapshot moments with God consistently throughout the day.
Jeremiah 29:13 explains, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” God “sightings” were diligently chronicled in my journal. Examples of God’s care were recognized when I became the recipient of an unforeseen kindness expressed through a thought, word or deed. I witnessed God’s care through teachers who lovingly and sacrificially invested themselves in the academic and moral development of our children.
When ministry opportunities were successfully accomplished in the power of God’s Spirit, God was praised for helping me to do His work in the world. And finally, when God orchestrated events to occur in a manner that portrayed His impeccable sense of timing, I learned to trust him and found rest for my soul.
“God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9). Psalm 34:8 exhorts us to, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” As our spiritual palette is awakened to the reality of His omnipresence, our lives become a quest. We anticipate His involvement in all aspects of our being and we join the Psalmist in saying, “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:5).
Father God, Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning (Proverbs 9:9). May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all (2 Corinthians 13:14). In His name we pray. Amen.