We’ve seen them on internet news pics. An image of Jesus imprinted into a sweet potato, a sighting of enormous open arms reflected in the clouds. Don’t we long for God sightings in unexpected, but ordinary events?
There were lots of God sightings in the Bible, right where we expect them. God showing up in the Bible seems reasonable. It’s easy to forget the Bible is full of real people whose ordinary lives became extraordinary with His presence.
Moses hadn’t planned his sudden career change. Raised in an Egyptian king’s court, his Hebrew mother told him about God’s promise to deliver His people. His life was spared to become a deliverer. But anger issues and righteous indignation blew up at the wrong time and in the wrong way. Moses ran as far as he could into a new job title, from prince to shepherd. So much for the plan of God – in the middle of a botched mission with only himself to blame.
He led the sheep to the far side of the wilderness, traveling far from every reminder of his failure. But God came looking for him. He came to visit the barren, unreachable wilderness of his pain. He came to find His deliverer.
The Lord watched Moses turn aside to look at a burning bush. An ordinary desert bush became a divine appointment dressed in flaming foliage. God appeared personally to his broken deliverer in the midst of a fire that burned but didn’t consume.
We hide, too. We go into the far side of the wilderness with walls of despair and isolation. Maybe if we’re silent in the darkness our enemies can’t find us. Maybe God can’t either. We hide from His judgment in a place we don’t understand.
But God isn’t that kind of Judge. He comes looking for us. He takes ordinary events and waits for us to draw aside, to hear Him, to know He never left us. He comes looking when we feel alone and disqualified.
We thought our calling should be a neat package, tied up in a lovely bow, then presented to God as a well-tended prize. “See what I did, Lord? It’s for You!”
Instead, we discover He comes to anoint the broken places, the very places we try to hide. Out of brokenness and isolation, He calls us His deliverers.
God watches us, but not to judge and condemn. He watches to see if we will turn aside and see His presence in the ordinary. He wants us to listen for His voice every day in the mundane affairs of life. He watches to see the course of our eyes, hoping we will find Him and His desire.
He doesn’t come just to say hello. He comes to remind us there are other hurting hearts. He’s heard their cries, too. He needs someone to extend His hand over brokenness, one who has known His healing and received His forgiveness.
Compassion comes out of knowing a God who never stops waiting for us to find Him. Come aside. He has something to say. You are in the right place at the right time to hear and respond to His voice. Look for Him. He is looking for you.