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:
As we left the Union Hall this Sunday, which was the site of our 50th Wedding Celebration and the Circle Church Reunion, the clan of 18 Mains’ offspring began gathering in cars to caravan together up the Chicago Skyway to the Michigan/Indiana border, so we could make the last ferry that would take us the short distance to Diamond Lake Island, where we were all gathering together for a few days.
My son-in-law, Doug Timberlake, walked out of the Teamster’s Union Hall (also the site of Circle Church, which my husband had founded and pastored for ten years in the 1960’s and 1970’s), with huge trays in hand: “Do you have room for any of this in your car?” He had popped into the buffet area and discovered trays of leftover food. “Can we take these?” he inquired of the former church member who had served as caterer. “We haven’t really had time to grocery-shop for this family getaway.”
“Oh, please,” she said. “I was just wondering how I was going to get this all into the car—and then I was wondering what I would do with it. There is no room in my refrigerator.”
So, the Mains/Timberlake family caravan stopped to eat at the picnic tables at the first rest area on the Michigan side of the state lines. We enjoyed the wonderful stacked sandwiches, broke into the cardboard tray of water bottles, and split apart the unopened bags of potato chips, Cheetos and Doritos—a perfect summer-evening supper for travelers on their way to somewhere.
The next day we set out the pasta salad, the green salad, and the fruit salad. The teens (well, not only the teens) dug into the huge chocolate sheet cake. We didn’t have to take the ferry into town and buy pricey foodstuffs in the convenience store nearby until late Monday afternoon. Split four ways, our bill per family unit was $40-$50, depending on kid count—not bad considering we shared seven meals together (not to mention endless grazing).
Christ taught His disciples not to worry about the necessities of life (which we always tend to do, being humans who have to learn to trust our Provider). In the Gospel of Matthew, the story is told of Jesus feeding the four thousand (actually there were more—this count only included men). He took seven loaves and a few small fish and miraculously provided for the crowd: “They all ate and were satisfied.” What intrigues me about this account is the record of leftovers: “Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.”Matthew 15:29-39, NIV.
Well, the Mains family is certainly not a crowd of 4,000 (though sometimes the energy and noise hits the maximum on the volume meter). But, we were grateful for the leftovers—wonderful food, beautifully prepared, that satisfied our hoard’s hunger needs. Christ’s attentive compassion is no different today than it was a couple thousand years ago, “Give them something to eat.”
My daughter and I were the last two at the beach house (a Mains family rule: Always leave a place better than you found it). We ate the rest of the stacked sandwiches on the drive home to Chicago. They still tasted great! And, we bought Michigan cherries (“Picked two days ago,” said the fruit-stand lady) as an accompaniment—life is good.
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.