"The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands."
(Psalm 19:1, NIV)
Where do you find God? The Scriptures give us many suggestions. 1 Kings 19:12 tells us that Elijah heard God as a 'gentle whisper’. Psalm 121:1 says, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help”. Just as we can find evidence of an artist in their work, we can find evidence of God in all creation. This entire world, in all it’s splendor, reflects the wonder and glory of God.
One morning this Fall, I woke to a simply amazing sky. I’m sure you all know that at this time of year the eastern sky is often subject to dramatic sunrises—deep indigo blue, intense pink and orange, and brilliant yellow. Spectacular sunrises like this are a fairly common occurrence. This particular morning, however, I was more surprized by the display in the west. The western sky itself was tinted baby blue and the clouds reflected the sunrise in soft, glowing pink. As well, the view of the sky from my window was peaking through a pine with dark green needles and a poplar with leaves of gold and old bronze. What a great gift I was given to start my day!
Some days later, as I contemplated what to write in this piece, I heard, “Find God in the miraculous and the mundane,” and was reminded of that early morning western sky. Sometimes, ordinary things can be miraculous. An ordinary Fall sunrise is seen in the west. A woman’s offer to water a man’s camels results in her becoming a Biblical matriarch (Genesis 24). An ordinary birth brings the Messiah (Luke 2:7). An ordinary basket with five loaves and two fishes miraculously feeds five thousand people (Mark 6:41). Death by crucifixion was relatively common in Roman times, yet the death of Jesus brought eternal life (Matthew 28:5).
Well, at this point in writing this piece, I felt like I was on the right track, but something was missing. It all fell into place when I listened to Riley preach on October 17. He said, “How can we possibly imagine all that God does? God makes the sun rise every day." I thought to myself, “You know, that’s a miracle, even if it seems mundane.” The sun rises every morning. Not all sunrises are spectacular. Many of them are pretty ordinary. A regular occurrence like that can be seen as commonplace, even boring; yet each one is different, subtly perhaps, but different all the same. Our world is filled with things like this. Snowflakes are all made in the same way, from water crystals, but each one has a different structure. Leaves have such a variety of size, shape, colour, and texture. People, with almost identical DNA, have such a variation in height, colour of hair, eyes and skin. Even the shape of our earlobes and our shoe sizes have incredible differences, and those are just the physical variations! This incredible diversity of pretty much everything in our world is “normal." I realized I take it for granted that everything has individual characteristics. All of a sudden, some Bible verses had a deeper and richer meaning for me. I understood in a new, wonderful way how each of us is "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14) and how even "the very hairs on [my] head are numbered" (Luke 12:7). I had deeper realization of how God is in ordinary things as well as in the miraculous.
It can be a challenge to find God. I think I am not alone in that it is easy for me to find God in the miraculous, but harder to find God in the mundane. Where can we find God? Anywhere and everywhere. God is in the very air we breath. Every breath we take can be a reminder of the presence of God. In this coming week, I am going to focus more on looking for God in the mundane, on experiencing God’s presence in everything I do, everywhere I go. Where will you find God?