Friday, January 20, 2006

Recognizing 'God Moments'

From H:
Ever experience a "God moment": an event which turned out so unexpectedly perfect, you knew there had to be divine direction?

I did today. But my "God moment" wasn't the instantaneous result of a heavenly whammy shooting down from the sky. Instead, it began taking shape months ago, when I received an easy writing assignment from a Christian publication.

I could have finished the story in a week. Instead, I got delayed by a peculiar string of problems. One of my wisdom teeth became badly infected, and I had to have two wisdom teeth removed. Afterward, one of the surgery sites became infected again. Then my car broke down, and I spent a week shuffling it between two mechanics. Then my stomach decided to hold a throw-up fest. In the meantime, my computer's hard drive died.

All to say, two months went by and I never worked on the story. Bizarrely enough, the editor never contacted me once during those months to give me a deadline.

Just today, the editor sent me an e-mail with new information that makes the story fresh and timely. Now it will get noticed in a big way when it's published, and hopefully will touch a lot more people than if I'd written it last fall.

Some people call that luck or coincidence. I admit, it's a lot harder to believe God is actually active in our lives. It's easy to feel alone, wondering where God is and why he isn't answering our prayers the way we want. It's easy to blame him when things are going wrong. It's easy to worry when we're not as emotionally moved by faith as we once were.

Thing is, when I'm expecting God to respond in a certain way, or I'm chasing after an emotional high, I often miss that God's working toward something greater: his plan.

You've probably heard people quote the first part of Romans 8:28 a million times: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,"

often stopping before they get to the second half of the verse:

"who have been called according to his purpose." (NIV, emphasis mine)

My prayer for this year is that I'll recognize God is always active in my life. When I'm sick and my car isn't running and my computer is broken, God still has control and is in command. During tough times, it's hard to remember God has a purpose and plan for us. And that's when the Master Architect is still hard at work, building our faith.

To ponder:
1) Do you know right away when you're experiencing a "God moment"? Or does it take you a while to figure it out? What are some indicators, for you personally, that let you know it's a "God moment"?

2) Share one of your "God moments," including how you knew God was leading the situation.

3) Think about the term "God moment" in light of Romans 8:28. Is "God moment" a misnomer? What are some ways we can acknowledge God is active every moment of our lives?

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