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:
I have had two ugly, ragged trellises supporting vines leaning against our house and offending my demanding eye every time I look at them.
I’ve shopped for sturdy, good-looking trellises at home supply stores, but most of what I find is more of the same. I’ve cut out samples of the kind of trellises I am hunting from gardening magazines. I’ve discovered a few building plans. But, my construction skills are limited, and my husband’s even more impoverished than my own.
There just weren’t any good trellises to be found. None that I liked, at any rate, and none that I could afford. A well-made aesthetically pleasing trellis could cost anywhere from $300 to $500.
One day, at Menards, my eye glanced at some wooden open shelves that were flat, had been crudely knocked together by a careless team and were intended to be used for garage storage shelves—something quick and cheap.
Hm-m-m-m-m, I wondered. If I stacked them together, tightened them with screws and spray painted the whole assemblage, could I get the kind of trellis I wanted at a minimum of cost, skill and labor?
“I have time to help you with gardening this Saturday morning,” volunteered Amy, the college graduate who has been living with us this summer. We are not charging her rent, and she pitches in when she can.
The trellis project came directly to mind. Amy spray-painted the five sections I had purchased; they were transformed with a rich chocolate veneer. I took my power drill to the hardware and received a tutorial on drill bits from a knowledgeable twenty-something sales clerk. Together, Amy and I stacked, restacked, and conformed the shelves into my vision of a substantial structure.
In 15 minutes’ time, the power drill with the correct bit had screwed together an assemblage of the five sections, which looked, on the garage floor, at least, like a rather remarkable, somewhat modern version of my ideal. But, set up against the grid of bricks that makes up our garage outer wall, the trellis looked stunning, so stunning that I immediately began to make plans to create two more. One on the back corner of the house where the apple-green hop vine curls, and one for outside the back garage door where the clematis show off their velour cranberry-colored blooms in late spring.
I was filled with creator’s pride, like the little girl who shows off her scribble-scrabble picture to her mother, “Look! Look what I made.”
We are never closer to God than when we create something that gives us joy. Genesis records that the Creator looked at His handiwork—the earth, the seas, the skies, then all the creatures inhabiting these elements—and said (with immense satisfaction), “It is good. It is very good.”
When I look at my hardscrabble trellises, I see God’s help and understand His pleasure in this work of my hands. For paint and supplies, I figure the cost to me was all of $50.
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.