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:
Several years back I learned that I had developed a hiatal hernia, a condition in the digestive system where a hernia balloons out of the stomach wall. This often creates discomfort for me, but I have learned that I can control the situation without medicine if I am careful with what I eat.
- No big meals in the evening unless I’ve eaten almost nothing else during the day.
- Small portions.
- Don’t sit too much in any position that cramps the stomach (economy seating in airplanes are the worst; I disembark slightly crippled and very uncomfortable).
- Not too much bread. Not too much meat.
- Small portions (oh, I said that already, didn’t I?)
- Plenty of fresh food—fruits and vegetables.
This diet is actually a lot like the one recommended by Michael Pollan in his little booklet Food Rules, where he maintains that there are basically three rules that comprise healthy eating: Eat food (and by this simple command he means real food, not over-processed, highly manufactured pretend food). Not too much. Mostly plants.
When I follow the rules, I feel less discomfort, forget that I have a hiatal hernia, and when I forget and eat badly, I suffer. No one else is responsible for my discomfort. This is totally under my control. I just have to learn to be intentional about how I eat.
The same truth exists for all of life. There are certain rules we must follow if we want to be healthy. Our bodies are strongest and function best when we get enough exercise every week. Human relationships are kept strong when we forgive and accept one another. Love for ourselves, for one another, for the world around us and for the God who made it all covers a multitude of sins.
When we disobey the established wisdom of the ages and the discoveries of modern science that also add to our body of accumulated knowledge, well, then we suffer. And no one else is responsible for our suffering but ourselves. Others can bring us pain—to be sure, this is true, but it is how we choose to respond, whether we will turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, establish proper boundaries, remove ourselves from toxic situations that determine whether the suffering they have brought into our lives will endure or heal.
There are also rules for finding God in our everyday world. We must seek Him, pay attention, put ourselves into quiet, spend time in His written Word, learn from spiritual masters. Keeping a record of His daily intervention helps us to remember. Telling others what delightful intervention he brought into our life is a way of concretizing the divine event.
When people say to me, “God doesn’t answer my prayers. He’s not there,” I often ask, “And how much do you pray? Have you listened to what He has said after you have pleaded with Him to help you? Is your life honoring to Him in other ways—do you seek to live a life of devotion?” In other words, have you been following the rules that exist to create a healthy spiritual life?
This hiatal hernia is forcing me to keep to the rules of healthy eating. Really good things can come of following the rules.
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.