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:
Flying home from San Francisco, I was assigned a middle seat in the last row and struck up an intriguing conversation with the woman seated in the window seat beside me. It so happens she was an ob-gynecologist who specialized in high-risk pregnancies. We began talking about the baby in my extended family who had just been released from spending 12 weeks in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit. The baby had been born prematurely with food allergies in addition to a twisted bowel condition that required surgeries.
My concern, of course, was for the baby to begin to thrive—putting on weight at this stage is a necessary factor for life—and we began to talk about the incredible advances in medical technology that allow for an infant who would normally have died to survive.
“Indeed,” she continued. “We are actually creating some of our own health cost scenarios.” She went on to explain that this amazing technology can actually allow operations on a child still in the uterus, such as what takes place when ultra scans reveal an embryo with a deformed heart. “However, in my field—high-risk pregnancies—I just dread having a pregnant mother come to me who has had one of these pre-natal operations, because it creates all kinds of complications in her own pregnancy.”
My sister laughs ruefully that she has million-dollar grand babies. This is actually not quite true—million-dollar-and-a-half grand babies—would be more like it. Baby Rhys needed Neonatal Care for five weeks before his brother, Merrick, was born this year and needed 12 weeks in NICU. Insurance has covered most of the whopping expense, but increased the premiums, and the insurance industry has also decreased the amount of payments it is covering for clients seeking psychological counseling, which is my nephew’s (the father of these adorable little boys) profession. This amounts to almost a 50% cut in salary for this family!
Not being able to pay two mortgages (one on the house and one to the insurance) company, a FOR SALE sign has now gone up on the property where my sister and I lived as girls. This is a hard but appropriate decision to make, but one that many have faced in our years of economic collapse.
However, knowing something about the fatigue of living through a possible death and life scenario and imagining now having to pack up and relocate, I was moved to ask friends and family to help pay down the remaining medical expenses on the credit cards
I have personal experience with overwhelming debt—because of a collusion of accusations years ago, our ministry ended up with a debt of $2,600,000 dollars. It has taken us fifteen years to clear this off and we have been the recipients of amazing miracles and loving gifts that have taken our breath away. Without unexpected and loving assistance from others, David and I could never have shoveled our way out from under the weight of that black and oppressive debt mountain.
So why am I taking the time to mount a campaign among friends and friends of friends, with family members, some close and some not so close? Why have I taken the time to meet with my nephew and his wife and to hear their story and to figure out what we could reasonably do to help financially? Why have I found a young web designer who is willing to give his time gratis to design a website? Why am I volunteering that our part time office staff will look over donations and set up a separate account to manage funds and design the direct-mail package? Why am I happy to oversee this campaign for the next few months?
That’s easy to answer, isn’t it? I have been where my nephew and his wife are—at least I’ve been close enough to where they are to imagine how crushing the pressures they are facing must feel. Simply, this is called empathy. The truth is: None of us can empathize very well without having walked down troublesome paths.
I know this debt can’t be paid down without the help of that One who delights in cancelling debts. So, I am already eagerly anticipating what His surprising and amazing plans will be. I know this God who loves life will not disappoint. Paraphrasing King David from Psalm 4:3:
“Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful; when we call upon the Lord, he will hear us.”
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.