I am in an incredible place in life right now where I wake up most days by the sun. I don’t need an alarm clock blaring in the morning to wake me up, just the warm, tender touch of God’s sunlight. It’s like a sweet song every morning sung to me by God. Yes, what a wonderful sermon God is speaking to me as I awake, “Melinda, it is I again. I still love you, I still embrace you. Lets journey together as I wrap my warm sun-rays around you.” There are so many ways I can engage with God. He wants to connect with me throughout the day. Am I’m seeking out those opportunities in a morning wake-up call, a fruitful revelation at the grocery store, or a loving hug from a friend? Or, am I just walking on by not realizing God’s qualities?
My sister-in-law and I have an awesome relationship, I consider her one of my best friends. This relationship is so strong because of several instances where God knit things together so perfectly that such a bond could be formed. One of these moments was when we went on a pretty extensive hike together. We returned to our camp, needing to rest in order to regain our strength. So, we sat on a big flat rock in the middle of a stream and embraced the beauty of nature. It was here that we both felt so close to God and we exclaimed that we felt more connected to Him there than we often did in church. Sometimes we learn more about God from looking at the world He created than going through the motions of a church service.
Now, this doesn’t mean that church isn’t needed or necessary, it has a very valuable place in our lives. Church is incredibly relevant and important to our spiritual walk, but there is so much in life that can bring us closer to our Lord. God, the creator of everything can be reached in the most incredible places. Our ability to connect with Him outside the walls of church demonstrates our need to see God in all aspects of our lives. We shouldn’t have to wait until Sunday morning, or a weekend church retreat to engage in a relationship with Christ, we have opportunities every day.
There are simple ways to understand more about God’s character through our day-to-day activity. The consistency of God is seen in the sunrise, His protection through the strength and shade of a tree, His provision through the rain, His resurrection through the changing of the seasons, His vastness through the mountains and ocean, His intimacy through the song of a bird. This list could go on and on, never repeating a quality of God or His creation. The universe, this beautiful planet, all the animals and people who reside here are an exquisite reflection of who God is, His character and His greatest concerns. When we see beauty around us we see God Himself. His reflection is in our surroundings. Are we paying attention and using everything we engage with as an opportunity to encounter God?
It’s easy to look past what we see every day and not realize its significance in our lives. We become complacent by our surroundings and with what we have. But, seeing this beauty, which has become common in our eyes, through a new lens may open up doors to a greater understanding of our Lord. So, don’t just take the time to “smell the roses,” but really engage with your surroundings and see God’s hand in the making of a flower, the meow of a pet cat, and even the monotony of a homework assignment. God will certainly leave you amazed.