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:
The June 29th derecho that hit West Chicago, Illinois, where we live, started in Iowa, then traveled—at times with 91-mph winds—until the base of the storm, in typical enlarging-triangle fashion, progressed across several states and eventually hit the East Coast.
Path of June 29, 2012 derecho from Iowa to the East Coast
In our yard, 12 trees were violently blown down, centuries-old oaks were torn up by their roots. The power was out for five days; the landline phone was down for two weeks. One tree hit the corner of our home’s mansard roof, left an indentation, tore off shingles, smashed the gutter and the drainpipe and took out the smaller almond tree (which always blossomed in the spring but never bore ripe fruit) before crashing across my herb garden.
David and I have learned how to distinguish between catastrophes (despite our insurers’ classification of “catastrophic windstorm”) and big messes. Since the damage to the house was minimal, no life was put at hazard, and since the gardens would probably restore themselves come next spring, we classified the impact of the derecho on our personal possessions as “just one really big mess that needs cleaning up.”
It did help, however, that the e-mails that went out to our small church notified everyone that the Mainses’ place was “a disaster back there.” Consequently, on our Serve Sunday (just so “happened” it was July 5, the first Sunday after June 29) some 20-25 regulars showed up to help us dig out of the mess. Seven of the rescuers were eager men with power saws in hand (what is it about guys and power saws?).
By 12:30, the fallen trees had been cleared away, about ten truckloads of brush and debris dragged to the street, and some of our power saw crew had gone to nearby neighbors to help them clear away fallen trees and limbs.
I would have given anything for a big sign outside that read:
Helping One Another Along the Way
One of our neighbors from the housing development across the street stopped to say “Hi!” several days after the trees crews had cleared the north side of the street of eight piles of brush. David was outside raking up leaves. “Word over here is you guys had some kind of party last Sunday morning!”
“Oh, no,” David said, laughing. That was a crew of people from our church, clearing us out of the mess. “What church do you guys go to?” said our friend, a church attendee. “Oh, Jericho Road Church,” David replied, explaining it was a little church in a nearby town that met in a school and believed we worshiped God in our service to one another and the world as much as in our weekly congregational Sunday gatherings.
God is often seen in our own eyes and in the eyes of the world when we show how much we love and care for one another. David and I certainly felt that love when we looked at what had been a really big mess that would have taken months for us to clear away, but had been cleaned up in about 4-5 hours one Sunday morning, July 5, 2012, by 20-25 church friends, some seven of them men with power saws.
I’m going to make sure we have some signs the next time our global-warming trend stimulates wretched weather systems and someone else nearby needs a happy crew of workers pulling together to clean up a really big mess.
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.