What if God is in this place?
It may not always seem likely. Not when you’re elbow-deep in soapy dish water, or pulling out the third wipe from the tub while doing diaper duty.
Not perhaps while cradling a tiny babe at 2:00 in the morning so he can eat or zooming from school to ballet while quizzing children on homework questions at the same time.
And not when passing back sandwiches to little people in the car as you spend a night away from home moving from activity to activity.
Yet, this is the place I inhabit, the Mom World. It’s the life where my schedule is dictated by the schedules of other, tinier, needier people.
For now, though, I’m scribbling Scriptures onto index cards and reading devotionals in a parked car while waiting in a line to pick up my kids here, there, and everywhere.
God has to be mobile for me. He has to be everywhere I go. He can’t be confined to one hour, one specific holy place, one quiet spiritual atmosphere.
No, He has to be God amidst the loud, the stressful, the busy, the on-the-go, the tired.
We talk about the discipline of a quiet time, the need to establish a routine and stick with it no matter what. Schedule your time with God….that’s the advice we give.
For most people, there’s wisdom there. Make a date with God. Write it down on the calendar. Protect the time. Do the habit until it becomes a habit. Persevere until it becomes second-nature.
Sometimes, though, in some special seasons and particular times, this advice leaves us defeated. My schedule is different each day of the week. A newborn baby can cry and change my plans in one unexpected instant.
If I’m inflexible, too rigid, only ‘doing devotions,’ only meeting with God in this one place at this one time, I will miss Him.
I’ll miss Him completely and utterly. My life would be devoid of heaven and communion with my Savior and I’d be one stressed out Mama ending every day emptier and emptier than the day before.
Yet, there’s Mary in Luke 1, a teenage girl busy with chores, doing common, everyday things on a common, average day. That’s when an angel appeared and announced she’d carry the Messiah.
God was at work. She couldn’t see Him…not when hauling water and baking bread. Still, God was in that place, active in her life, preparing the greatest plan of all plans to display His will and His presence in the world.
And then there’s Jacob, the runaway rogue, the trickster fleeing his home and family because he’d made his brother, Esau, mad enough to kill him.
All Jacob did was fall asleep on a stone pillow and God was there, displaying a stairway up to heaven and bringing blessing and promise for Jacob’s future.
What could Jacob say, but:
“Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” (Genesis 28:16 NIV)?
That’s it exactly, what I’m thinking, what I’m praying for and hoping to accomplish even with four young kids and a husband and a ministry and a life…
To be aware.
I don’t want to walk in and out of this life unaware of God in this place—right here, right now, right in the middle of everything I’m doing and everywhere I have to be. I can wait for some future moment when an uninterrupted hour of quiet is an everyday commodity, but how much better to ask God to inhabit this busy, stressful, active, full life, the very life He’s given me?
After all, even when we set apart time and places for holy encounters, we can miss seeing His glory.
Zechariah the priest entered the holy place for a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with God….and yet when the angel appeared to him and announced that he’d be the father of the Messiah’s forerunner, Zechariah “was startled and was gripped with fear” (Luke 1:12 NIV).
What was God doing there in the temple? What was God doing there on this spiritual day?
Zechariah stood in a holy place at a holy time and didn’t expect to see the holy.
But I want to be expectant in the holy places and in the places that seem steeped in the mundane. God, please meet me here in the mini-van, here helping with homework, here making dinner, folding clothes, washing dishes, packing lunches, feeding a newborn.
May I remember that yes, God is in this place.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King