Have you ever gone on a God Hunt? A God Hunt begins when you teach yourself to look for God’s hand at work in the everyday occurrences of your life. Here’s one of my personal God Hunt Sightings:
On Friday, as I was spending the day pulling my sermon for Sunday morning together, a news story popped up on my computer screen. I did not call forth this story—it actually interrupted my Web research—and I almost erased it, but then noticed it was about the traffic sinkhole that opened up in the small town of Seffner, Florida, taking out the bedroom where a young man, Jeff Bush, age 38, was sleeping.
The story caught my eye because one of the points of my sermon was the fact that there are lies we tell and lies we don’t know we are telling. According to psychologists, these hidden faults are called lacunae. Webster’s dictionary defines a lacuna as a hole, a ditch, a gap in what used to be. I was emphasizing that these hidden lies are dangerous if we don’t pay attention to them. Just as I was thinking about closing the news story, I realized that God had given me the perfect illustration for the black holes in our soul that we must come to terms with when we develop a lifetime practice of becoming people of penitence.
Can you imagine how powerful this story was to the hearers of this sermon?
“The rest of the family were wakened by a loud crash, then the cries of Jeff Bush. By the time his brother, Jeremy Bush, reached the bedroom, the furniture was going, the floor was gone and he could hear his brother’s cries from the bottom of the sinkhole. Bush frantically tried to rescue his brother by standing in the hole and digging at the rubble with a shovel until police arrived and pulled him out before he too became a victim to the still sinking hole. Eventually the cries were no longer hard and monitors found not sign of life.
“I couldn’t get him out,” wept the brother. “I tried so hard. I tried everything I could.”
These quotes were also given to me: The first from Fyodor Dostoevsky in Notes From the Underground:
“Every man (and woman) has reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone but only to his friends. He has other matters in his mind which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself and that in secret. But there are other things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind.”
The second quote was from Joseph Conrad’s book Lord Jim, in which the character Marlow says:
“It is my belief that no man ever understands his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self-knowledge.”
At the close of the sermon and before taking Communion, we all meditated on Psalm 51. “Clear thou me from hidden faults. Keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be innocent and blameless of great transgression.” In other words, “Help me to become aware of the sinkholes in my own soul so that they will not be able to suck me into themselves.”
It is an incredible feeling to realize that you are in a communicative collaboration with God your Maker. Indeed, He helps us to do His work in the world.
I spy God!
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.