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:
Since August, David has been notifying me I have an outstanding check that hasn’t been cashed by the recipient—a check for $150. Travel outside the country kept me from paying attention to this, so the husbandly notice continued through September and October.
Finally, I e-mailed my friend and reminded her of the check I had written, said that if she found it to tear it up, that I would write another check and send it her way. Unfortunately, something got lost in the e-mail translation between my instruction, the writing of a replacement check, this one for $200, and my putting it in the mail.
“David is right,” my friend e-mailed me back. “It got piled in a basket of files and mail that I meant to take to the office. Sorry.” She promptly cashed the first check, leaving me $57 in my bank account once the second check cleared. Oh well, it’s a good cause, I reminded myself. I probably should have given $350 right up front.
I had a salad to prepare for a celebratory potluck meal, a dinner for company, clothes at the cleaners, Thanksgiving meal coming, and I needed some traveling funds as I was leaving town for five days! To say I was a little short because of this lost-in-translation incident was an understatement.
What is at hand? I asked myself. First rule of thumb, right? On the counter in the kitchen was a bowl of green tomatoes, some scrawny green peppers, a few onions—all the remains of the vegetable garden I had cleared out last week in case I got around to finding that recipe for chow-chow (not to mention finding the time).
I bought one head of iceberg lettuce, chopped the last of the garden’s red-stem Swiss chard, fried the sliced green tomatoes and onions and a few plum tomatoes (kind of in-between-green-and-red) in melted butter and chicken broth, then diced radishes and any other greens I could find in the refrigerator to make a chopped “end-of-the-garden” salad. To top it off, I threw in the seasoned pumpkin seeds I’d salvaged from a pumpkin I baked in the oven and pureed for winter soups and holiday sweetbreads.
How often I find God’s provision in the things at hand; the ordinary common gifts that lie hidden in the dying vines and the weeds that have taken over the bean patch. I’ve often said to myself when short on funds, You don’t need money. You need good eyes and good ideas.
Americans throw away a good half of all the food they buy. This is outrageous! My $57 in the bank would feed a majority of families in the world (at two dollars a day) for 28 ½ days. How far can I go on less than 60 bucks in my bank account?
There is food in the freezer to make a company meal—use it. I have $14 in my wallet for my journey to San Francisco. What is at hand? Well, God is always at hand (He is always at hand). So there will be enough.
My makeshift chopped end-of-the-garden salad was quite good. I made a homemade balsamic vinaigrette to dress it. I think we’ll make this an early fall family tradition.
I’m already making out recipe cards headed:
FROM THE KITCHEN OF KAREN MAINS
Take whatever is at hand salvaged from the vegetable garden that you have harvested before the first frost (be bold—a good vinaigrette will blend the tastes).You are creating a new food tradition. Experiment for a few years!
One essential ingredient is wonder. Marvel at the bounty of the earth and then add gratitude that God is always at hand. These little gifts—good eyes and creativity—are evidence that He is always near.
Using what is at hand—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.