O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33)
God is with us, God is around us, God works through us. And if we keep our eyes open, if we listen intently, if we keep our senses on full alert, we can find proof that we are loved by God. But sometimes it’s not so obvious for God oftentimes shows up in mysterious ways.
I have had the experience any number of times of finding myself looking up to the sky and saying, “Thank you, God.” One evening several years ago when I left my work office for home I was carrying my briefcase and a very large sign board I needed the next day for a presentation. As I started outside I found it was raining and I had no cover for the signboard. I hurried to the car and put my briefcase on the car roof so I could use the car key as quickly as possible to open the door. You may already see where this is going. Yes, I packed the sign board into the car and drove off with the briefcase still outside on top. It wasn’t until I reached my house about 7 miles away that I realized my briefcase wasn’t in the car. And, it wasn’t on the roof. So I slowly backtracked all the way to my office searching as best I could along the sides of the various roads I had taken with the rain pouring down. I had no luck. I was very upset (actually I was panicked) as my presentation and a number of other important papers were inside my briefcase. On the return trip home I rounded a curve down near the Brandywine River and saw something small reflecting the light cast by my headlights. I pulled over and the briefcase was sitting on a large rock about 10 feet off the road. The light had reflected off the tiny silver snap that closes the briefcase cover. “Thank you, God,” for letting me see that very small bit of light.
Sue and I live near some woods and in the summer we often hear the wonderful sounds of birds singing in the morning and again later in the evening. These are comforting but not unexpected sounds that help us recognize that God is around us in nature with beauty that amazes. One day while looking out the kitchen window we noticed a strange sight on our hummingbird feeder, a hummingbird sleeping upside down. What an unusual glimpse of God’s creation at rest. “Thank you, God,” for this beautiful image.
Many Sundays I sit in worship and think about how strong our congregation has become. Not in raw numbers; the congregation was significantly larger in the period from the 1950’s through the 1990’s. But it has weathered some difficult years in our ministry and has emerged with a solid understanding of its mission and with a worshipping community that believes in and continuously works toward fulfilling that mission. We are small but we are energized. Literally everyone is participating in one way or another. Should this be a surprise? I don’t think so because in so many ways God has lifted us up, kept us hopeful, and showed us how to stay true to our calling as his disciples in this place. So, “Thank you, God,” for the incredible opportunities you offer each of us to serve you.
We know that God is in this place and is in us and we are very grateful.
- Bob Linderman