When on a short-term mission trip the end of each day is usually set aside for a team debrief. In this setting I often ask the question “Where have you seen God today?”
It is a question I find hard to answer myself.
Recently I’ve been reflecting on how some people seem to be able to answer this question of God’s presence easily while others don’t.
I’m one of the people that don’t.
It’s not that God isn’t around. I know He is. In fact, it would be rather depressing if God wasn’t around and you couldn’t see His hand in the world.
But in the daily grind, while eating breakfast, working in the office, looking after the kids, fiddling with our phones, and doing what we do it’s often hard to spot God’s presence. It’s not like each day is filled with overwhelming awe for life and the tasks to do during the day. Many days are similar, many days a filled with challenges as well as joys.
I can’t say God is in the joys without saying He’s in the challenges either. To say God is only in the joy-filled moments of life not only cuts Him out of much of the ordinary but also downplays the importance of His presence in the challenging times.
In some respects it’s about perspective. A greater awareness of God will bring a greater awareness of His presence in our days.
I was reminded of this as I read Ephesians 1-2 this morning. Paul talks in such lofty terms but reminds us of what He has done for us through His Son. Much of the passage is to do with what God has granted us through the work of His Son. And while the passage doesn’t talk directly about His presence in the world we can see the way He does work and so must be working today. The fact that He has chosen, predestined, adopted, blessed, redeemed, forgiven, lavished upon, made known, and given an inheritance to His people assumes He’s still doing that today. And if He’s still doing that today then He’s still at work, which means He’s still present.
So where have I seen God today? All around.
In what exactly? In the people I talk to. In the shopping centre I visit. In the driver I pass on the freeway. In the cafe I sit in. In the home I live in.
I’m not sold on the idea that He is in everything, like in the salt and pepper shakers I have in front of me. But His presence is in this world and I need to be more observant of it.
So, what about you? Where have you seen God today?