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:
My daughter, Melissa, and her family moved last August into a renovated barn—and it is a big, big place. One morning coming home from a run to the bank, I popped into my nearby resale shop, St. Vincent de Paul’s, in downtown West Chicago.
I have been looking for a used blender for an immigrant friend who once mentioned at my house that she “didn’t have one of those,” pointing to my Cuisinart food processor.
I found, instead, two gorgeous wing back chairs in almost perfect condition, upholstered in an outrageous fabric (cream oversize chrysanthemums on a rust background) that would look wondrous (I thought) in the hallway outside the barn house’s master bedroom. (The hallways are so wide in this former dairy barn that we are able to make little sitting rooms out of them.) Melissa had set up some cream-colored bookcases in this spot.
Luckily, these days, we can take smartphone camera shots of resale finds. I e-mailed a photo to my daughter with the text, “What about these?” She texted back, “Pick them up. I’ll pay you later and bring the truck down tomorrow to pick them up.” The chairs, from a well-known high-end furniture store, were $45 each.
When Melissa came back to look at the chairs, she also spotted a gorgeous, old cream-colored pedestal coffee table with a round glass top and quirky molding around its edges. It was a stunner that I had overlooked. This cost $45. But I spotted the matching ceramic lamps ($4.95 each), and we grabbed those as well.
After four days spent moving our son Joel into two PODS, one storage locker and our house (his closing on the new home is not until two weeks after the closing on his the old one), we spent the fifth morning frantically breaking down wooden work, hanging a banister on the basement steps, shoving the last of the boxes into the van, vacuuming the final room and broom-sweeping the garage clean. We finished exactly at 8:55 a.m., with a closing scheduled to take place in five minutes.
Since I was in the moving mode and filthy from that morning’s work, I decided to make the hour run up to my daughter’s and push furniture around for her as well. Joel, being off work and having nothing to do after the frantic preparations of changing homes, came along.
We pushed a Chinese chest handed down from David’s mother into place across the room, pulled a carved Edwardian chair from its storage place for the living-room area, found the throw rungs I had passed along to Melissa that looked perfect in the hallway across from the master bedroom, arranged a collection of Roseville and Weller American pottery in the shelves of the cream-colored bookcases, took old oriental carved stands for either side and put the resale lamps on them, then finished the grouping with the wildly patterned wing back chair on either side. It looked terrific.
I did dishes in the kitchen, wiped the dining-room table, and we set it with place-mats and napkins. (Nothing will fill with mess faster than an empty dining-room table.)
When you are going through the long arduous endurance run of fighting and overcoming cancer, sometimes God gives gifts along the way that we can overlook because of our grief and fatigue. But we must not overlook them. The sun still shines. The birds still exult. Flowers bloom. People laugh. Children splash in pools. We still lay ourselves down to rest.
And perfect, affordable, in-good-condition resale chairs still appear in secondhand shops. The pain of our lives God uses, but He still give us joy and delight and gifts along the way to make the sorrow and the suffering bearable.
Praises be to the One who is not so mighty that He doesn’t delight in small things.
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.