Think back over the past year. I bet God has revealed Himself to you in at least one way in 2011. For some, He has done this is a dramatic way. A medical miracle. A hopeless situation that somehow became hopeful again. Something that stopped you dead in your tracks and caused you to realize again, “God is real and He did this.” For others, God revealed Himself in a more subtle way. Maybe it was the sunrise you saw that morning at the beach that inspired you to thank God because nothing that beautiful could have happened by some cosmic coincidence. Or perhaps you got the feeling that God was giving you a fresh start on life through a relationship change or a new job.
But somehow, sometime in the last year, I know that God has revealed Himself to you.
Now, whether you are a Christian or not, you may not have realized that this was God who was revealing Himself to you. I do believe that it is easier for people who are walking closely with Christ to see God at work in us and around us. In theological terms, this is because Christians have the Holy Spirit living in them, and he makes us more aware of these things. But set that aside for the moment – as you look back now, do you remember that time or those times where you were keenly aware of the presence of something greater than yourself? Many people at those times inaccurately refer to this presence as “some cosmic force,” “Mother Nature,” “a higher power,” or even an intangible emotion like “love” or “goodness.” He is all those things, of course, but He is much more.
He is God. And He is revealing Himself to you.
You may not know a single thing about God, or the Bible, or Christianity. I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home. My parents not only took me to Sunday School and church every Sunday, but they attended with me and brought me up to know God. I learned Bible verses and stories, I learned about who Jesus was and what He has done for me all at a relatively young age. Because of this, I have lived life with a tremendous advantage over people who had different situations. I often feel guilty about this, in the same way that Americans feel guilty about their abundance and wealth when they are confronted with pictures of starving children in other countries.
In my limited experience, people who grow up without this Christian foundation often (but not always) develop one or a combination of four main viewpoints by the time they become aware of and interested in God:
Some think that they have already made too many mistakes or done too many awful things for God to want anything to do with them.
- Some think that because they don’t know anything about God, Jesus, faith, or the Bible, that it is too late for them to learn. They feel that they will never be able to catch up.
- Some think that God is some distant force that cannot ever be known in more than some general way and see no need to try and learn who He really is.
- And maybe most tragically, some people get just enough “Jesus” growing up, that they see Him as a part of their life but not the main thing and don’t see the need for any more.
Maybe you see yourself in one or more of these viewpoints.
And yet, God is still revealing Himself to you.
Think about that for a minute. If you have had a moment or situation in the past year where you felt the presence of God, He is revealing Himself to you. Do you see how that one fact means that all four of the above viewpoints are incorrect? If you had already made too many mistakes for God to want anything to do with you, why would He reveal Himself to you? If your lack of knowledge about the things of God was an insurmountable hurdle or if God could not be known in a concrete way, why would God bother to reach out to you? If you already have enough of God in your life (as if that were really possible), why is God calling out to you by showing Himself present in your life?
Just the fact that God chooses to connect with us in our day to day situations, whether the blessings or the crises, should blow our minds. This “force” greater than ourselves, no matter what we call Him, suddenly becomes real to us in a moment by answering a desperate cry for help, or healing a friend who was about to die, or throwing a double rainbow across the sky that takes your breath away. Why does God choose to do these things? The only answer is that He wants us to know Him.
God is revealing Himself to you. Now what are you going to do about it?