Life is a journey of ever-changing events. If your ultimate goal is heaven, then you no doubt believe in seeking God’s presence in your daily life. Like the ebb and flow of an ocean tide, you might feel very near or as far away as possible to God as the waters are to the shore. Why is each day (perhaps, each moment) different? It’s because you are an ever-changing being!
A woman who lived long ago in Avila, Spain was named Teresa. She wrote many things about God, faith, life and the sometimes intense struggle we humans encounter as we live out our individual callings. Teresa of Avila wrote two things in particular that have had significant impact and influence in my own life.
Ponder these things when seeking God’s presence
If you’re married and raising children, you likely have more busy days than not busy ones. In fact, you might feel completely overwhelmed and near-paralyzed from stress at times. It’s tough when there’s so much to do, it’s all on you and you have no idea where to begin to accomplish the myriad tasks that require your attention. Try keeping the two sayings in the following list in mind when seeking God’s presence in your life:
- Inasmuch as you seek Him, you will find Him.
- God walks among the pots and pans.
The first one blew my mind when I took time to ponder it and began to grasp its powerful meaning. God is always 100% entirely and fully present to us. He never turns away. He never even stops thinking of us for a micro-moment. (If He did, we’d cease to exist!) I’ll admit that when I first read Teresa’s assertion about seeking God’s presence, I immediately felt angry. It was a troubling time in my life. My knee-jerk reaction was to think, “What does she know about MY life? I always seek God but do not feel His presence lately.” Then, I learned.
Seeking God’s presence ‘exposes’ Him in our lives
If there’s a blanket covering a painting, think of how much of the painting you would see if you only lifted up a tiny corner of the cloth. You have heard that the painting is beautiful, exquisite, breath-taking and surreal. You’re just not feeling it as you gaze at a sliver of the canvas. What would happen if you pulled back more of the blanket?
The blanket is not attached to the painting, so you are free to uncover as much as you want. This is similar to seeking God’s presence in our daily lives. It also demonstrates what Teresa of Avila means when she says that we will find God inasmuch as we seek Him. If we are not feeling His presence, it is not because He is the blanket! He is the beautiful painting, waiting for us to pull off the cover! If we seek Him 25% of the time with 25% effort, we will find 25% of His presence. Based on that analogy, try to wrap your head around the joy of seeking God’s presence 100% of the time with 100% effort!
What does seeking God’s presence have to do with dishes?
What about the other cryptic message Teresa offered the world when she said that God walks among the pots and pans? How many of us trust God with the ‘big’ things in our lives, such as finding a job, having a baby or moving to a new state? It’s easy (and feels natural, right?) to face what seems to be an enormous obstacle in life and automatically turn to God for help.
Saying that God walks among the pots and pans means that He is just as interested in smallest, most mundane moments of our lives as He is in “the big things.” God doesn’t just care about your career, your marriage or your tithe. He cares about the oil change your car needs. He also cares about the outfit you’d like to buy for your friend’s wedding. He cares that you feel stressed because you haven’t had time to shower or clean up the mess in the kitchen for two days. He cares that your sinuses are bothering you.
Think of the little things when seeking God’s presence
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” which is indeed sage advice. Have you ever considered why you don’t need to sweat the small stuff though? It’s because God is sweating it all for you! Your life as a Christian is sacred. No two households or families are exactly the same but each is 100% precious to God and He is 100% available throughout the day to every person in your family.
God is not just at church or present when you take quiet time for prayer. When seeking God’s presence, you can find Him in the mountain of laundry as you chip away at it, one load at a time. He’s in the giggles you hear coming from your backyard as your children play. God is at your computer with you as you address all the issues that arise in the company you run from home or the online writing job you took to earn money for your kids to go to band camp this summer.
Seeking God’s presence just got easier
Teresa of Avila sure did lift a burden off our shoulders, didn’t she? There’s no mystery or secret instructions for seeking God’s presence. He walks among the pots and pans, which means you don’t have look far to find Him. Inasmuch as you seek Him, you will find Him, which means if you want ALL of God’s presence, you can have it! He’s right there with you and He has your back, all day, every day.
Why do bad things happen to good people? The answer is that the greatest gift God gave us is free will. He doesn’t interfere with our choices in life. Because sin entered the world through poor choices, bad things happen to good people. God doesn’t cause that and He grieves with us when it happens. In Luke 7:13, it says that Jesus was moved with pity for the woman and says to her, “Do not weep.” Shortly after, Jesus raised this woman’s only son from the dead. That is definitely a ‘big’ life moment. What I hope you glean from this post is that God cares just as much about your ‘little’ life moments as He cared about the widow who had lost her only son.
Seeking God’s presence in your daily life is good. You don’t have to go far to find Him. He walks among the pots and pans!