Thursday, September 11, 2008

"I Spy...God"

Hardly a car trip goes by with my kids that I don't hear "Mom, do you want to play "I Spy?" Sometimes I play with them and sometimes I don't. It's a kind of "hide-and-seek" type game where one person picks an object and everyone else has to take turns guessing what the object is until finally, sometimes all choices exhausted, someone guesses the object. Sometimes my kids get so impatient with me because I don't guess the object as quickly as they'd like me to so they start giving me hints trying to speed up the process. Of course, when riding in the car, you should really try and guess the object fairly quickly - especially if you are travelling at 55-60 mph or more.

A year or two (or more) ago, Iowa decided that people were no longer allowed to spray the weeds in the ditches along the roads. For most of the summer these ditches look like they are full of undesirable weeds; but around the middle of August, something wonderful starts to happen. Here and there, in the ditches, beautiful wild flowers start popping up and sometimes you may be fortunate enough to see a patch of wild flowers or even a 1/2 mile stretch with various varieties and colors. I love looking for these bursts of color along the sides of the road on my way to and from work because it helps fill the monotony of my 40 (or so) minute commute with interest and beauty.

A few weeks ago I stopped on my way home from work because along the very edge of the road, as if they appeared overnight, there were brilliantly colored and perfectly shaped wild sunflowers growing. Both sides of the road displayed sunflowers and it felt almost as if I was on a path and not on the same road I have travelled for the past 10 years - two times a day; give or take a few days. I have watched these sunflowers continue to grow and get exceedingly tall; I am amazed at how they grow so tall and stay so strong.

Today is the anniversary of one of the saddest days in recent American history; as I was driving to work thinking back to 9-11-01 and remembering those who lost their lives so senselessly. In addition to that, my daughter's boyfriend lost a good friend on September 4, 2008 in Afghanastan as a result of an IED; Pvt. Vincent C. Winston, just 22 years old died. (

Then, in the midst of the sadness and heaviness on my heart this morning, "I spied" God. He was in the ditches and he was in the fields; he was in the trees and along the side of the roads. He was in the faces of the people I was meeting; he was in the sky; and in the water in the river and on the sand; suddenly God was everywhere. I also felt him in my chest - so big that I had to breathe in to make more room. It was if God was telling me that in a world that doesn't always make sense, he is still always close to us and a very real God. Psalm 46:1 says "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."

My prayer is that those who are trying to make sense out of a seemingly senseless situation, may feel the peace and VERY PRESENCE of God - whatever your situation is.

God wants to love you; he wants to hold you and he wants you to know, more
than anything, that he loves you so much that he made the decision to have his very own Son leave heaven, come to earth to be born as a human; and then,

as people denied Jesus,
and laughed at him,
and called him names,
and spit at him,
and beat him to a bloody mess,
and mocked him,
and put a crown of thorns on his head,
and pounded spikes (not little nails - SPIKES) through his hands and his feet,
and then left him on the cross to die,

God watched...not because he didn't care - but because he cared SO much.

I pray that as you go about your day, you "spy" God in his various forms.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Janelle. I posted a comment on your facebook entry, but wanted to write here as well. What a beautifully written tribute to God's propensity to show up wherever and however He chooses. Thank you for sharing! ... Still in awe over the common message He sent us.