We may not always see it. I know I often don’t. It’s easy to get caught up in going through the motions with life when we’re not present in each moment, or when you have a stressful day. But God Himself is everywhere we look. I know I noticed Him in nature today through the trees, birds, sunlight and warmer temperatures. I see Him in the simple fact that I have my own apartment and food to eat, and clean water to shower with every day. And He is there when I pray or read Scripture.
But aside from the most basic blessings such as these, God is also heavily involved in each of our lives. Especially with the people He puts into them. My best friend Tony is very wise, and when I was having an especially rough day recently, I think God spoke through him. I was feeling abandoned by God, and like He didn’t love me. I felt He had turned away from me. And I couldn’t blame Him for doing that, for I am a sinful man.
But in the midst of my low moments and emotional anguish, Tony said something I will never forget: “The people in our lives are the vessels of God’s love, even when we don’t see Him or feel Him.” And instantly, it felt like a HUGE weight was lifted off my shoulders. And it made sense to me too. God does not turn away from those who love Him, no matter how sinful or messed up we are, if we honestly try to find Him in our days. He is like the North Star. He never moves. He never loses faithfulness toward us (even though to me it sometimes feels like it. But it’s my fault. I sometimes grumble about God working too slow in my life), and He sustains us and protects us.
Yes. God is there even in the darkest times.
Read that again and let it sink in. God is there even in the midst of our tragedies. I often used to question how God could allow such things to happen. I still do. I don’t know if I’ll ever figure out that part of things. But knowing what I know now from my friend Tony, and applying it, my eyes are opened just a little bit more. While I will never fully understand why God allows tragedies happen, such as the deaths of 24 people from tornadoes in Tennessee, or the many random earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters, Tony’s comment brings light to everything. If the people in our lives are the vessels of God’s love and how He reaches us, the people who respond to these natural disasters, and who donate to relief efforts are an extension of His love as well.
He is there in my own dark times, too. In my own life, after each death in the family I’ve experienced, there has always been an outpouring of love and support. Sometimes from people I didn’t even know previously! From the death of my Grandpa Don, to my cousin Keegan, and to my Grandma Barb, the love shown to me and everyone else who has mourned, has been nothing short of amazing!
While I still do not understand death, and likely won’t until my own death comes one day, I do believe that God lifts us up in His love through the love of others like that in times of tragedy. Yes it is very easy to think God is cruel for letting death and tragedy happen. I’ve done it. I’ve been angry at Him, and said, thought and done things I’m not proud of. But that was out of my clouded judgment and human pain. But now being in a good state of mind, I recognize that God is love. Whether it is directly from Him, or others in our lives.
He is also there in our happiest times!
What makes you happy and brings you joy? I know for me, it’s talking regularly with family and friends, spending time at Mom and Dad’s house with them and the animals every other weekend or so, and watching sports whenever I can. Joy is also insane laughing fits with Tony. Something always gets us going, and we laugh so hard we have tears in our eyes! I’m surprised I haven’t turned blue, keeled over and died yet!
What if I told you all of the things that bring you joy are a manifestation of God as well? All of your hobbies, and jobs (if you enjoy them) are God reaching out to you in a way that you understand. I’ve always enjoyed writing and journaling like this. And there have been quite a few times where I learn something new simply from working through my thoughts with writing that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. I truly believe that is God teaching me something. I also feel God close by when I’m sitting outside when it’s warm, and when I enjoy nature as well. And when I find joy or excitement from sports, I think that is also a gift from God as well. Although it would be nice experiencing just a tiny bit more joy as a Cleveland Browns fan on Sundays 😉
But “The Man Upstairs” is always there for us. Even if we don’t always understand Him, if we look deep enough and allow our hearts and minds to be open to Him, we’ll see God more clearly. For He is absolutely everywhere. In everything good, and in every person on earth whenever they live selflessly for others.
So I leave you with this one question: Where do you find God? I’m interested in hearing what everyone has to say!