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:
I suppose I do have too many dishes. Over the years, a few comments have not made me defensive, I suppose, as much as self-aware. One friend in a small group, for which I fixed an almost-monthly meal, said, “You really have a lot of company settings, don’t you.” Another friend in that group, herself a dish aficionado, defended my china largess by stating, “Oh, when you have company as much as Karen does, you can’t really ever have too many place settings.”
But this last weekend, a member of another small group—different small group—looked at my Christmas table, which generally gets set the first week of Advent and stays set ready for all who seem to land in our dining room. He asked this question: “Do you have a room for all your dishes?” It seemed as though he had another woman friend who had so many place settings that when her daughter got married and moved out of the house, she turned her room into a storage room.
I don’t think I have that many dishes.
We’re at that age, David and I, where all of our parents have died and we’ve inherited a lot of their things, most of purely sentimental value, not monetary. One set of hand-painted Bavarian china I passed along to a daughter-in-law. A couple of the other sets I am saving just in case a grandchild would like them for a wedding gift. In the meantime, I do put them out in the seasonal exchange—the setting prestidigitation that delights me, keeps David from spreading out on the dining room table, and hopefully, welcomes all who come into our home.
So when I saw this stack of Japanese bowls with the traditional swooping blue brush-lines and counted them up (twenty matching bowls, some with their stickers still on the bottom), I heard my friends’ questions in my mind—You really do have a lot of dishes, don’t you Karen? Do you have a room just to store your china?
Our cereal bowls have been a collection of unmatched leftovers. I’d been looking for a set of 8-12 bowls that were the same pattern, but when I couldn’t find anything, I settled for collecting an odd bowl here and an odd cereal bowl there.
But here, lo and behold, were 20 hardly used bowls, all matching, in my favorite colors and without a chip in any of the rims. The price in The Top Hat, the high-end resale shop in Geneva, was $20. I walked out without them mainly because I found a new humidifier in its original box with instructions and extra filters. But I also agree that I probably have too many dishes.
In the parking lot, a nudge—one of those inner nudges said to me, Now you march right back in there and buy those bowls. You don’t have cereal bowls. Where are you going to find 20 matching cereal bowls in the right colors, all practically new, without any chips, for only $20? I bought the bowls, realizing—as silly as it may sound to others—that this was one of God’s gifts to me. The Heavenly Father was delighting in giving me something I had been searching for and hadn’t been able to find.
How great is that? As a parent, I love to give my children gifts that I think they’ve wanted but not purchased because they were being careful about their money. God’s delight in giving good gifts is not any less than mine—probably more because He has taken pains to orchestrate what appears to be a serendipitous event knowing that I would be wandering into that high-end resale shop I hadn’t visited in almost a year.
I don’t always know what to do personally with a Scripture like this, seeing as I am flawed more than I like to admit, but this day, at this moment, in this Advent Season, I felt as though it applied, “Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart.” A gift in the weeks leading up Christmas to remind me that God is good (all the time).
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.