I heard a woman talking on the radio the other day about how it is so much easier to trust God when things are going well and life is good then when we find ourselves facing difficult times. I disagree. But I think I disagree because my faith was born out of a difficult time in my life and tempered in adversity. For me, when I am my most hopeless, that’s when hope in God and in his ability and strength to see me through is most obvious. It’s when I am at the end of my rope and the last little fiber slips from my hand that I find that God has been holding me in his hand the whole time. However when I’m facing a situation that I am fully capable of handling, when I don’t “need” to look to the Lord for help that his presence is seemingly absent. And it is this very situation that I’ve been struggling with for some time now. Maybe I’m just not committed enough and that’s why I don’t see or feel God’s presence in my life when things are going smoothly.
There have been many unthinkable and painful situations in my life when I was overwhelmed and my only hope was God’s grace and power. But it seems the tough times are behind me for the most part (with the occasional exception) and now my life is one long gentle stream of ordinariness. I get up, go to work (doing what I do best), go home for an evening of sewing or reading and then to bed to begin again the next day. I’ve been rather hard on myself because I’ve been thinking that I haven’t really been putting much into my relationship with God because I’m not crying out to him every second in need. But today, a thought occurred to me that I need to explore.
God’s Spirit is in me whether I am consciously aware of him or not. It’s his grace and love, his power and inspiration that work through the small acts of service I do every day. A coworker needs someone to bounce an idea off of or help in navigating a computer program and I help them—maybe I’m doing the work, but it is God in me who has trained me up to have the knowledge and wisdom useful to these people in their moment of need. Often people will confide in me a struggle they are facing because God has created in me an understanding, empathetic heart that draws them to me in their time of need. God has placed me right where he wants to use me to further his kingdom and he brings those to me he wants to touch through my everyday ordinariness. Taking a few moments out to give blood or giving someone a ride when they need it—these are all things I do because I love God and he’s taught me how to love him by helping others. Just because there isn’t some huge fanfare or unbelievable miracle every moment of the day doesn’t mean that God isn’t present and involved and it doesn’t mean that he is less important or even forgotten by me if he lets me be the one whose hands are doing the work.