I pray the day has found you well.
As a chaplain, I get this a lot, “I don’t see God. I want to see Him, but I don’t.” When confronted with this statement I ask the question, “Where have you been looking for Him?”
As a kid growing up there were many things that I did not understand.
One day the thought came to me as to why I would assume that just because I was breathing in one room just fine, why would I think that I would be able to breathe just fine if I walked into the next room?
I had not learned about atmospheric pressure, how air moves for points of high pressure to points of lower pressure in a never-ending attempt to even out the pressure. Thus, air moving from one room to the other room.
I could not see the air that I was breathing. Obviously, I did not grow up in Los Angeles.
I had always just known that when I walked from one room to the next that I would not just keel over and die from lack of oxygen.
I never thought about it, that is, until that one day when I asked the question.
I could not feel the air. I could not smell the air, well most of the time I could not smell the air. Sometimes I could smell the air and I liked what I smelled, like when mom was making dinner. Other times I could smell the air, and I did not like what I smelled, like when we would be driving down the road and dad would say, “Roll up the windows, there is an oil well.” We would all roll up our windows, but we never got them rolled up in time. An awful stench would always envelop us inside the car. We never did see the oil well that was causing the stench, just imagine how bad it would have been if we hadn’t rolled the windows up. I never could figure out why dad always smiled as we all howled in nasal pain and disgust. I guess he liked the smell.
As I thought about why there was always air and that I would just assume it was there. As I went through school, I learned about air. I learned about how air moved from place to place as the atmosphere tried to stabilize its pressure. I learned that the air that we breathe is made up of many things. I learned that what we breathe in is good, and what we breathe out is not. I learned how plants take this used up air and like to breathe it and what plants breathe out is good for us to breathe.
I learned about symbiotic relationships.
I don’t think about whether or not there will be air in different rooms as I walk from place to place anymore. No, I tend to look at the back of cars and wonder what else is mixed with this air.
Now that I am all grown up, there are many things that still baffle me.
Most of the things that baffle me are why people treat each other the way they do and why we have to bring someone else down to make ourselves feel better.
And there I find you in the mystery.
When people say to me, “I don’t see God. I want to see Him, but I don’t.” And I ask them, “Where have you been looking for Him?”
People usually respond, “What do you mean?”
One of the things that still baffles me is why we are so consumed with waiting for the “Big” miracle, which can be different for different people. Why are we waiting for the big deal to see God?
I had a person sitting in the chair the other day posing this very question to me, “Why don’t I see God?”
I asked her where she had been looking?
I suggested that she stop looking for big things and start looking for little things. She said she would try.
She came back to me the next day all excited. She said that was driving home praying that God would show up. She was sitting at a stoplight when her eyes caught something on the back of the car in front of her. It was a bumper sticker with a cross on it.
The bumper sticker read, “God loves you very much.”
Now you can say, “that was just a coincidence, or that bumper sticker is everywhere I have seen one of those myself.”
I would respond, “Coincidence is the word that we like to use to discount the miracles of God. The fact that the bumper sticker is everywhere and you have seen it yourself. Have you ever asked yourself, “Is God talking to me?”
I am of the mind that God is talking to you. Just like God, made air and plants and us to all live in relationship with each other.
And there I find you in the mystery.
I have lived most of my life in the mystery of God. I like to put it this way, “It is awfully hard to see what God is up to as we look through the windshield of the car of life. It is when we take a look in the rearview mirror that we get to see a glimpse of what He is up to. The problem is we cannot spend all our time looking in the rearview mirror without risking running into a tree. We are forced to live in the mystery, as we trust in Him.
It is called Faith.
Lord, as I go through my day I will try to have faith. When my faith falls short or begins to ask questions. I know that you will be right there with me. Help me lord see the little things. Help me see the many little things. In them is the big thing. Amen.