Where to look for, and find, God
Finding God on the good days
On my good days, when the birds are chirping, the sun is shining ,and my face is smiling, I can see God anywhere I look.
I look and see Him in the beauty of the deep blue sky. There He is in the rainbow, in the towering trees, and on the top of a mountain.
Sometimes I see Him in the faces of the people around me. I see Him in the face of the pastor who humbly but confidently proclaims God’s Word. He’s in the face of my mother as she cares for me, the face of a friend who comforts me, or the face of my wife who loves me.
Every once in a while I don’t have to look far at all. There He is inside of me. He lives and dwells in my own heart. He looks and feels so close.
God is in the innocent laughter of a child, the warmth of the sun, or the beauty of a piece of art.
I see Him, feel, Him, even hear Him in all those places. On the good days.
Finding God on the bad days
But, not everyday is a good day. So, where do I look to find Him on the days gone bad? Because it’s easy to see God’s fingerprints in nature – until the tsunami strikes, the hurricane comes, or the flood waters rise. I don’t want to think of God in nature during the natural disaster. Some days I look to nature and think I see the work of Satan not my Savior.
I see God in the faces of other people when we are all playing nice…but then when I’m angry at my family, disappointed by my pastor, or frustrated with my friends, well, then I don’t see Him anymore. I see my enemies.
Sometimes when I look inward, when I peer into my heart, all I see is junk. Sin. Mess. It’s hard to see God there through all my muck.
Somedays, maybe a lot of days, God seems to disappear from all His usual hangouts.
Where to look for God everyday
I think the truth is that, yes, God is everywhere. He is omnipresent. Which means He is hanging out on the top of mountains and is there in the midst of the trees. He does live inside His people (He has made our bodies His temple) which means sometimes we see Him in the faces of others. God does dwell within my heart, He is always very near. But, those are not the places He’s called us to look for Him. Because of our sin and the brokenness of the world, when we try to look for God in those places, He is always slightly obscured. Who He is, what He’s done, and what He thinks of us is not always obvious. Sometimes, in those places, it’s near impossible to see God as He truly is.
Instead, God calls us to look to the sure and certain places of His dwelling. He wants us to find Him in the places He has revealed Himself most clearly.
He wants us to look for Him in His Word. That’s where He has promised we will find Him. That’s where He whispers, speaks, and shouts to us His promises of life and love. Reading our Bibles allows us to see the God who created us, redeemed us, and is coming back for us. When we open His Word, He is there every time. On good days and on bad.
God says that in His Supper we get a picture of who He is. In Holy Communion we quite literally see the God who laid down His life and sacrificed His body and blood for our forgiveness. In that simple meal we see just how far God was willing to go. By laying that feast before us, God is showing us that He is always there to strengthen, equip, and nourish us for the journey of life
God is also directing us to look to our baptism. In the waters of rebirth and renewal we see what God thinks of us: we are His forgiven children. We are cleansed, renewed, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
God is pointing us to His cross, His tomb, and His impending return on the clouds. On the cross we see true love, from the tomb we see His power and our victory, and in the clouds we see a God who hasn’t forsaken or forgotten us.
Where is God
So, when you look at the face of a dearly beloved friend and see Jesus – praise God. When the beauty of nature calls out His name – that’s wonderful! When you get a glimpse of Him in artwork or even when you can feel Him inside your own heart – that is a gift.
But, sometimes those places get blurry. Other times when we look to those same places we might think we’re looking at Satan, not our Savior.
So, look to where God has promised to be. Let your eyes wander on the pages of His Word. Marvel at His sacrifice in the gift of His Supper. Find confidence from who He has made you and what He thinks of you in your baptism. Fix your eyes upon His cross, His tomb, and the clouds of glory that He’s returning on. These are the places where we see God most clearly. These are the places that tell us everything we need to know about who God is and what He’s like.
If you’ve liked what you read and want to read more, check out my little book on Christian maturity called, “Growing Up: In, with, and under Jesus” on Amazon.