Recently my pastor gave a sermon on the spiritual journey.Though he talks about that every Sunday, this day it stuck with me in a new way. Of course we need to live our lives “right” and do the “right” things and avoid the “wrong” things, but really we just need to be in a relationship with God.
All the rest follows after that pretty naturally.
God is not just a God of rescue missions, provision and miracles. He is a God of those things, and we should always pray big prayers to Him, but He is also the God of the normal. The spiritual life should be normal to us. Normal compared to our culture? No. Normal in the sense that we naturally commune with God? Yes.
Why should we actively try to find God in the little things?
1. Most of life consists of the “little things.”
The times when we pray to God for the healing of a family member or a job position will happen far less frequently than the everyday prayers. If we can’t find God in the little things then we’re in bad luck. Most of life is the little things. Mysteries with our children, financial provision, how we should educate our children, or where we should live. These are not super spiritual things.
They are normal things. Why shouldn’t we pray to God about the seemingly inconsequential? A friend stopped by the house a few days ago and asked where we buy our live Christmas trees.
When I told her the location of the tree farm she said that, though she was in a hurry, she had been tempted to stop there and pick one up quickly. But she had prayed about it and felt she should keep driving.
I told her it was a jolly good thing because unless she could saw down the tree herself with a sleeping baby in the car, then it wouldn’t be a quick trip. Even in this “little thing” she prayed and God had answered.
2. Some seasons of life are highly natural.
Motherhood is an extremely natural thing. Of course there are moments that are very miraculous, but the day-in-day-out is not. I’ve heard it said that nothing keeps you grounded like changing diapers and doing the dishes three times a day. I couldn’t agree more.
Most days I just go from one natural thing to the next. Cook, eat, bathe, hug, feed, wash, etc. Sometimes there will be moments of big spiritual experience (like when our daughter saw an angel) but it’s okay if we’re not leading a ministry, hosting three small groups, evangelizing to the poor weekly and going on overseas missions right now.
3. It doesn’t have to be grandiose.
Back when I was in my 20’s I was obsessed with figuring out what my “purpose” was here on earth. I prayed about it, thought about it, and wondered about it. I evaluated what I was good at, where I needed work and what I thought I was gifted in.
I gave unhealthy attention to doing something great for God. One day on our counseling course we were asked what we feared. My fear was that things would always stay the same. As in, I feared a humdrum boring existence. I’m not sure what I thought boring was, and it was probably subconscious anyway, but man oh man.
Look at me now! Arts and crafts and board books and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and rubber duckies in baths. Boring compared to my 20’s version of important? Maybe. Unimportant to God? Absolutely not.
It may not be standing in front of 10,000 preaching God’s Word, but I take my job no less seriously. And you know what? It is so very far from boring. In fact, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. God needs us to be obedient to Him in the little things, and that brings Him glory.
Sure, the big things bring Him glory too, but anyone can thank and praise God after he performs a miracle. Can we think and praise Him knee-deep in dishes, dirty diapers and viruses?
I hope so, because that’s what the spiritual life is made of.