A few weeks ago I had a really bad day. Have you heard of the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? That’s the kind of day I was having. The reasons are varied as to why the day was so rough, but suffice it to say, I found myself in tears and longing for the moment when I could curl up in my bed and shut out the world. In the midst of what felt to be overwhelming circumstances, though, I was reminded of a truth that God has been pressing upon me over the last several months. He’s been teaching me to seek out glimpses of the sacred, no matter how small, to help ground me and guide me into his presence. In the everyday moments of life, I’ve been looking for God. The best part is, when I look for God, I find him, and I can draw near to him even in the midst of my pain, grief, and brokenness.
I purposed, even on a day I would have preferred to wallow in sorrow, to search for reminders of the hand of God in the spaces and places I found myself. Almost immediately, I saw the sacred in some vividly beautiful purple flowers, which I stopped to gaze at and capture on my phone, while walking past the Akron Art Museum, of all places, on busy High Street in downtown Akron. They were indeed a reminder of the incredible, artistic hand of my Creator. Later that day, I arrived home to find an Amazon package, which contained a new book on Priscilla (she’s in the Bible; look her up), which I had been looking forward to reading. Books feel like treasured friends to me, so this, too, I saw as a gift from my good Father. Once I started looking for God’s presence, it became easier to find. A nap, brief moments in the sunshine, and the smell of homemade applesauce, made by my teenage-daughter, were all holy things and sacred moments for me. I couldn’t help but say, “Thank you, God, for tangible reminders that you are with me.”
In our Christian life, we sometimes overlook the fact that we are embodied people, more than just simply spirit beings. We live in a physical body, in a physical world, and I believe God wants to meet us and speak to us in physical ways. Don’t get me wrong; we experience God in prayer, quiet time spent in the Word, and listening to a man or woman of God speak truth in a church service, which are all things that speak to us in spiritual ways. However, those are not the only ways we can experience God.
For example, the two sacraments of the Church- baptism and the Lord’s Supper- were given as physical representations of spiritual truths. When we are baptized, the water, a substance which we can feel, represents cleansing and new life. When we partake of communion, we are reminded of the shed blood and broken body of our Savior. We look at, hold, and then ingest the elements.
Creation itself also speaks of God’s glory, as we see frequently in the Psalms. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1) While the earth and our bodies are not in the state that was originally intended at creation, due to sin and death, that doesn’t mean they are evil. In fact, they are good. God has given us the good gifts of our world and our physical bodies to know more fully about him, to experience him through our whole being, not just intellectually or spiritually.
My prayer for you today is that you would, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” May you find God’s goodness in the small things, the ordinary, the world around you, that you may have a deeper, richer appreciation for a God who loves us deeply.