I tend to look for God in the big things. In the dramatic moments and serious turns of my life, I expect to find Him offering comfort, direction, and support. Again, and again, I find Him to be faithful. And yet, thankfully, those crisis moments are not the everyday stuff of life. In the sweetness of a simple Saturday, the monotony of a Monday morning, and the rush and pull of my everyday life, I need to find Him too.
The Bible teaches that God is omnipresent, meaning He is personally present in every situation, all the time. He is there between the stained-glass walls of the Sunday sanctuary, in the simplicity of hands folded in prayer, and in the weight of worship. He is also available in the more mundane corners of my life. The moment after I’ve lost my temper and control of my tongue, the moment of longing for what isn’t, and the grief that attends my ordinary life. He is there in the tears, the anger, the grief, and the boredom.
My problem is not that God isn’t there, it is that I don’t have eyes to see Him. If I’m honest, in the dark times, my heart turns to a strength that is greater than my own. In the ordinary rough and tumble of my days, I tend to rely on my own abilities. I focus on what I can do and what I can control. I lean my weight on my ability to manage the day to day. In this self-sufficiency, my own actions, abilities, and achievements take on the primary weight in my life. I lose sight of the One who holds the world together.
Life, even in its most mundane, has a way of wearing me down. The push and pull of everyday annoyances, irritations, and troubles grind away at my self-sufficiency. Little stumbles, shocks, and trials wear me thin. In these thin places, I find that the illusion of control is just that, an illusion. Here the veil is pulled back and I remember, I don’t have to do this alone.
In vulnerability- Simply acknowledging the truth of my situation, seems to open the door to fellowship and Presence. As I flail against the realities of my life, the troubles, the insufficiencies, and the fears, I find my heart guarding itself against my own weaknesses and failures. And yet, when I tell the truth about where I am, the things I struggle with, and all the ways I am not yet who I want to be, Grace is present.
Over the years, I have learned to recognize these spaces where God is waiting. In some moments of my life, I think I have manufactured chaos to help me find my way back to this space. These days, I am cultivating a life with more calm and connection. I don’t have to wait for the big blow up, but instead I can make vulnerability, quiet, and wonder an integral part of my day to day life.
In quiet- In the aftermath of honesty, often processed with big emotion, there is a stillness. It feels like space has been made for me. This consecrated calm, the quiet after the storm, allows me to find again the rock-solid bottom upon which life is built. The place that I can once again open wide to receive His scandalous love.
Living honestly, with appreciation for both my strengths and weaknesses, gets easier as I age. I am less impressed with my own abilities, and more comfortable with my flaws. I don’t need to diminish one or the other, I am a mixed bag, and I think it’s okay. There seems to be less to prove, to myself, to God, and to others. This new perspective allows me to acknowledge and embrace myself, just as I am. I think this has always been how God has loved me.
In wonder- As I contemplate the ways my life is held together by Grace, by Love’s strong hands, I am pulled back into a place of wonder. From here, life’s trials, dangers, and difficulties are experienced differently. Pain and loss are visited with Comfort and Understanding. Grief is honored and attended to. Fear is overwhelmed by Love. Life’s uncertainties, while still huge, are shadowed by the covering of His Great Love.
Carving out room for quiet reflection is simpler now. It isn’t always easy, but it is more available that it was in the past. I am much less interested in avoiding my life with hustle and rush. The space, I once would have filled, allows me to breathe, to ponder, and to prioritize the things that make my spirit come alive. Wonder seems to slip into these openings, filling my heart and pushing my eyes upward.
No matter whether you are in a season of shattering or mundane monotony, Grace waits to break into your days. Today, as you face life’s challenges, I pray that you might find the courage to embrace your vulnerability, carve out some quiet for reflection, and recover your sense of wonder. We can move through our lives without leaning into His scandalous Love, but why would we want to?