“Our challenge is to unmask the divine in the natural and name the presence of God in our lives.” This quote from David Benner’s book, The Gift of Being Yourself, is also an opening quote in the ‘Reviewing My Days’ map instructions. But what does it mean? This spring I received an email from a lady in my bible study group that began to help me understand.
“Once upon a time, several years ago, my husband and I picked up a dog by the side of the road that had been hit by a white van. We loaded him into our SUV and took the dog to a local vet. Unfortunately, the vet could not save his leg but the owner, whose name was Julie, was able to claim him. She told us that the dog had run out on her the morning it was hit. My husband paid the vet bill knowing this was a young family who probably did not have the money for an unexpected bill. I sent Julie coupons for diapers knowing she had a baby in her home.
Were you that Julie from so long ago?? I felt the Lord reveal this to me and my husband said he thought the last name was Thomas.”
Yes, that was me! Ten years ago, a woman and her husband showed such generosity to my family, were complete strangers. And in this particular week, when I needed encouragement, God chose to reveal to that precious woman that we had previously met. When she asked if I was that Julie, I just thought, “That is too weird!”
If that wasn’t unusual enough, the lesson in Bible study that very week was from Galatians 6:9-10, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” And, I had already been wondering, “Am I growing weary in doing good?” I had more than a few moments of, “God, I keep doing the next ‘good thing’ and I am tired. I could use a break.”
God began to unmask the divine before my very eyes in these seemingly natural events of my life. He had placed in my bible study group, the very woman who had shown me kindness ten years earlier along with a lesson from Galatians having the same theme. I needed the encouragement to not lose heart in doing good, because I may never know what God will do with my simple acts of goodness. Even before I was ready to recognize God’s personal care for me, He had this very week in mind all those years ago. He wanted me to experience His intimate love when I needed it most and I am learning to notice and name the presence of God in my life.
Questions to Ponder:
- Where are you noticing God’s care for you in the ordinary events of your day?
- What unusual linkages or timing have you experienced in your life?
- Take a moment to marvel at how God took special care of you before you were even willing to recognize He was at work in your life.
- Can you name the presence of God in your life? What does it look like today?
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
God, thank you for the way you care for me so well, for when I notice and when I don’t. For care in planning ahead and ordering my days so that SOMEDAY I would look back and recognize you at work. Teach me to recognize you in the ordinary moments and may I be found faithful to give you the praise.
Recommended Books Related to this Blog:
The Gift of Being Yourself, by David Benner
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Julie works for a pregnancy center in Plano, Texas and is involved in facilitating bible studies at her church. She is currently using Listen to My Life in mentoring relationships and small groups. She is married to Marcus and has two beautiful teenage daughters, Robin and Sara, and one incredibly energetic son Bryan.