By Jason Wright: Did you see God today?
One evening, feeling a little worried and overwhelmed, I lay in bed and wondered what was wrong. What was I missing? Not seeing? Not doing?
I asked the midnight darkness above my head: why hadn’t my morning prayers been answered?
Hadn’t I been sincere? Grateful? Faithful?
Discouraged, I did what any child with questions would do.
I asked, “Why?”
“Father, where were you today? What about then? And there? And in that trying moment when I lost my temper? Lost my keys? Lost my words?”
Feeling energized, and because I’m a writer who loves lists, I grabbed a journal and a pen. I would simply itemize the moments I’d hoped for help and hadn’t gotten any.
Think of it as my journal of personal calls to Celestial 911 that no one answered.
Then it hit me. It felt like the blended force of my mother’s wooden spoon and the love of her warm forgiveness and handmade blankets.
I was making the wrong list.
Rather than lamenting the occasions I expected help and the spiritual EMTs didn’t show, I needed to consider if anything had gone right.
So the experiment began. Could I find at least three things?
That morning, I’d given a ride to a stranger walking in front of my office. The man was returning from a court appearance after losing his license, his wife, his pride and his hope. He had a 15-mile walk ahead of him and didn’t ask for money, food or a pep-talk. He just needed someone to listen.
I saw God in serving a brother.
A few hours later, a car ran a stop sign as I rode shotgun after school with my 16-year-old daughter at the wheel. Instead of a disaster, the experience ended with a few teenage tears and a priceless lesson about always checking twice.
I saw God in potentially sparing our lives.
During dinner, my phone buzzed with a text from a church friend. She wanted me to know she’d reread an article I’d written years ago that impacted her profoundly. It brought her peace after losing her best friend.
I saw God reminding sometimes my work makes a spiritual difference.
All three experiences made me feel grateful, loved and spiritually seen. Don’t those feelings come from divinity? Maybe God hadn’t answered my mortal wish list, but He’d put His hand exactly where He’d needed to.
Yes, I’d seen God today.
As the experiment continued, I discovered that if I truly believe God knows me, if as the Bible teaches he really numbers the hair on our heads, I must accept that He lives in the details of today. Clearly, someone with eternal and perfect vision knows what I need and when I need it.
Gradually, I became more enlightened to how blessed I am each day. I began to feel how aware God is and how concerned He is about things I couldn’t have envisioned.
This list, these intersections with God and His goodness were the moments I recognized that His hand was in my life. I was seeing it.
Do bad things happen to good people? Of course.
Does that mean God doesn’t love those who feel pain? Of course not.
If Christ felt pain, despite all the good He did, why shouldn’t we? Adversity is part of the refining process that prepares us to live with God again.
What does this mean for you?
If you’re feeling invisible, make a list of at least three times you saw God today.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with life, make that list.
If you’re feeling heartbroken, make that list.
If you’re feeling lucky, blessed or fulfilled, make that list.
Try it. Take the challenge for seven days.
You just might see God appearing in your life more often than you realize. Because like any active and loving parent, He is keenly aware of you at every moment of every day.
In fact, He’s perfectly so.
I know God is there. And whether you believe in Him or not, He believes in you.
Jason F. Wright is a New York Times best-selling author of 10 books, including “Christmas Jars,” “The Wednesday Letters” and “The 13th Day of Christmas.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.jasonfwright.com.