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:
Because it took a month to build four wooden raised garden boxes, and because it then took the whole of that month to also plan and plant our first vegetable garden ever, I didn’t get seeds and transplants actually in the ground until 30 days after the last frost date here in Chicago, May 15th.
Needless to say, given all this (factoring in also the reality that the yard only has hours of sun here and there—not the minimal requisite six full hours per day), the flowers on the squash plants have bloomed exceedingly slowly. This has been disappointing because I really, really wanted summer squash and decorative gourds and an overabundance of zucchini.
But what has been remarkable is that due to slowness, I have been able to closely observe the unfolding of squash blossoms into small, hard shapes that, given another month of growth and a few more hours of sun per day, would have become full-grown hard-shell vegetables. This observation is cause for rapture in me. Even with the languorous rate of growth and the end-of-summer vines beginning to brown and crumble, and with the fact that I probably will not harvest produce, I am breathless at the process.
Is this really how the squash shell forms? Do you mean that the end of the flower nearest to the stem becomes a hard rind that fills tasty squash meat? What a wonder!
If the garden had popped out and rushed to produce, I might just have noticed a finished squash—white or golden or green—and been thrilled by my find. But, I wouldn’t have had the chance to observe the exquisite pattern built into the genetic code of the Cucurbita family—the pepos (pumpkins, summer and winter squash, gourds and ornamental squash), the maximas (Atlantic Giants, Baby Blue Hubbards, butternut squashes, Turk’s Turban ornamentals), the moschatas (Golden Cushaw pumpkins, butternut squash) and the mixtas (everything else!).
The list of offspring from this genus is mind-boggling and unless I can find a friendly nearby neighbor with a large unused space in their yard that has constant sun, I will probably not attempt to grow summer squash again.
But this year, I have watched the slow unfolding of the butternut squash’s flowers, and I have stood amazed by the creative mentality of the One who set the vining, twining, stretching, looping actuality of squash into being.
Abraham Kuyper, the great Dutch statesman and theologian, wrote in his devotional book To Be Near Unto God,
“Even in nature everything is for the sake of religion, to reveal to you the glorious presence of God, and to bring you the warm, fostering sense, that in all this life of nature the living, Almighty God is round about and with you, in order to fill you with the sublime impression of His Almightiness, His Divinity, and His Majesty.”
I spy God! Lift your hands, fall to your knees, and give praise.
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.