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 every day occurrences of your life. Here’s one of my personal God Hunt Sightings:
I snapped up a plastic refrigerator sack of little toy animals for my grandson Neeham (Nehemiah), who is two years old. This $3.75 was one of my best purchases because Neeham invariably digs into the bag and comes us with a clutch of animals to play with and to carry around wherever he goes in our house.
Though the fistful of toys may be Neehan’s version of a security blanket, it does present some problems:
First, he cannot pick up anything else, not even more dinosaurs, snakes, fish or crabs (this is the sea-animal bag). If he tries, some inevitably drop to the floor though he attempts to retrieve them (leaving another turtle that doesn’t quite make it). This is a source of frustration to Neeham, who sometimes resorts to (dare I name it?) temper tantrums.
Next, it is impossible to pull a coat over Neeham’s full and clenched fist. We attempt to pry the little fingers open, explaining that we are just putting his coat on and that he can have the toys back. “No,” he protests. “Mine!” In fact, I am reminded by this repeated drama by our front door that the wearing of winter coats is more of an adult’s concern than it is a two-year-old’s.
Last, this greedy security habit of my grandson’s is fast depleting the plastic bag of water-loving miniatures. Of course, again, this is more my concern than it is Neeham’s. Supply and demand is an adult’s prerogative. Little children don’t worry about what they will play with when the source of toys is gone.
How often God attempts to pray open our clutched fists. He has something richer to give us, something to warm us against the cold, something more exciting to put in our hands to replace the snakes and other creepy-crawly creatures.
Yet, our proprietorship is firmly established. “Mine!” we announce, clutching more tightly and clenching our fists to our chest. But the truth is, we’ve become too old to carry “dinosaurs” in our hands. We need to move beyond the childlike stages of spiritual maturity. Better pay attention to the Grandma at the front door. My lifelong experience in clutching things too tightly is that if we don’t let go of our well-loved playthings when God asks them of us, we may force Him to find a harsher means to convince us that we best let go.
So. What is it you are clutching in your tiny fists? Is God asking you to let go? He needs to pull on that winter coat to protect you from the blows and windstorms of misfortune. He can see into your future and has a reason for asking for your fistful of clutched toys. This secret I have also learned (hold it to your heart): Our Heavenly Grandparent never takes away something from us without replacing it (eventually) with something better.
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.