The ripe oranges hanging low from the branches of the orange tree. The theme song ‘It’s A Small World’ playing in the background as you walk through Fantasyland inside Disneyland. The smell of the fried delicacies wafting through the air at a local fair. The richness of the fudge that melts in your mouth as you bite into a soft fudge brownie. The moist condensation dripping from your large iced coffee cup into your hand.
These are all things we sense or experience in expected places. Often we take for granted these subtle revelations, most times not noticing them at all. They become part of everyday living. They are the unnoticed expectations of life.
What about those senses or experiences we have in the unexpected places? The meatloaf that is now our favorite recipe. The sense of security for an introvert in the midst of a large group. A pungent odor from a beautiful flower.
Just like our daily living where we can miss so many beautiful things or miss out on some amazing experiences, our spiritual lives can suffer from our in-the-box thinking as well. If we seek only in the expected places we may miss out on all that God wants to show us and teach us in the unexpected places.
I was having a conversation with God about the writer’s block I had been experiencing. I truly love to write and I believe with every ounce of my being this is what God called me to do. I could not understand why the inspiration was not just flowing from my fingertips. I am in His Word daily. I am diligent in my note taking on Sunday morning and in our midweek bible study. I study God’s Word to find inspiration for my writing.
In my begging and pleading with Him to inspire some creative masterpiece I received instead a message not to write but to look elsewhere. I clearly felt God speaking to my soul “I am everywhere. Do you take the time to see Me when I reveal Myself in the unexpected places?”
Moments after I felt that message I passed the dairy farm on the way to church. All of the cows were in their usual place, up against the fence; except for one. This lone cow was walking in circles in a small area where some water had collected. It was as though she was having her own little “pool party” in our hot Arizona summer. That may not seem significant, but in that moment God said “I am even with the cow that needs to cool off.”
The rest of that evening and several days after God revealed Himself to me in some unexpected places such as secular music, news broadcasts, and a harsh health diagnosis from a family member.
We all have that head knowledge that God is omnipresent but do we seek Him in unexpected places? Knowing He is there and expecting Him to “show up” is not the same as seeking Him.
Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.”
I challenge you the same way God challenged me, step out of your in-the-box thinking of seeking God only in the expected places and truly seek Him in the unexpected places too. You will never know what He wants to reveal to you or the experience He may have for you if you pass Him by in the unexpected places.
Lord thank you for not being an in-the-box God who is only in certain places. Thank you that You do not hide from me, but rather You are everywhere waiting for me to experience You. May I be more aware of Your presence. May I see You more easily. May I not miss out on the experiences that You have planned for me.