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:
Every once in a while, David and I feel moved (jointly and sometimes without previous discussion) to invite into our home people who we think need a safe place to stay. We met a younger couple in our church—they were just visiting because their college-age kids had been attending—and we invited them for dinner. They invited us for dinner. In these two evenings, we gathered enough of their story to understand they were in between housing, in between jobs. In short, they were in that liminal stage that is a terribly uncomfortable place for us humans; that place where the future promise has not met and married the present dilemma.
There were several job interviews in the process, college-aged and high-school kids who needed to make school plans depending upon their parents’ decisions, and the continuation of a career path for the wife, whose life had also been interrupted by her husband’s job situations. Until the job situation was settled, everything hung in a kind of dissatisfactory limbo.
“Just come on and move in with us,” we said. “Stay as long as you need to. Don’t worry about paying rent. Let’s just see what God does. This will give you a space to discover that.”
One friend who dropped by said to me, “Karen, isn’t this too much for you?” I didn’t feel that. Perhaps you will agree with me.
For the full 17 days, I didn’t cook a meal (well, I cooked a few meals but had that joyful camaraderie that comes from cooking together in the kitchen, which doesn’t feel like work). Most of our meals were cooked by the husband. That included backyard barbecues with fish grilled over the coals, breakfasts outside (this was an amazing summer without mosquitoes). We had risotto made from a treasured special family recipe. Brad, our new friend, cleaned the gutters, which were cluttered with all the junk from the summer storms. He sawed old boards to make a top for the old table so I would have a workstation in the yard (also a serving space for outside parties). Lynn, the wife, labored in the back garden, meeting me outside several mornings. Together, we conquered the neglect. She got my new computer set up, spent endless moments on the phone getting my Internet reconnected and figured out the perplexities of installing my Wi-Fi printer—the gift of another friend.
We had lovely conversations in the late afternoon and the early evenings as they struggled to come to terms with what God might be doing in their lives. We told stories and laughed together. David and I were midwives to new ideas. So what do you think? Was this too much for me? Were the guests who stayed for seventeen days a burden?
Well, hardly. In fact, they were a joy. It was a privilege to share our lives and our home with them. They “paid back” more than we would have ever thought to require, more than whatever we might have charged for rent (which at that moment in their lives they couldn’t have possibly afforded).
Instead we gained new friends, people we believe God will use mightily in the world, who just had a little pause in the progression of their lives. They have gone on and are settling back again in their home state. The house has been rescued from foreclosure, the job interviews seem promising, and Lynn is proceeding to find work again in the public health systems as part of a long-term goal of helping to set policy.
You never know who you’re going to find along the way (or who is going to find you). I simply agree with the Scripture in Hebrews that says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
“Hey,” said David, after our new friends had been with us a couple of weeks. “Did Brad clean all the gutters?”
He certainly did.
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.