Encountering God

I’ve found myself lately focused on the ways in which I encounter God. For a few months I’ve been leaning far more intentionally on the ways in which I encounter him and then choose to interact with him. He’s taught me to listen more to those around me. To remind me that he uses every one of us as a means to speak to us.

I’ve always known that there’s an intentionality behind the people that God provides in our lives. They are there for a reason. They are there because they provide us with tools or gifts that we are open to receive. These people are our encouragement, our kick up the backside and they are the ones who watch out for us. They are many things. They are also the tools that God uses to equip us with what we need.

Originally this blog was entirely centred on the ways we encounter God and at a later point it will again. However i felt it was perhaps necessary to think about it in a different way. A way in which it affects us in a world that is now changing by the day. Why? Because things are changing quickly and the world we live in has a reality that is very different to the one of how we spent Christmas Day. So much has changed!

What’s clear is that this world is a very different world now. Our freedom is being challenged. Our simple, every day routines have been compromised. What we took for granted all of a sudden seems more valuable. Life feels a little more a gift than an entitlement. We’ve been reminded in the most brutal way that life is fragile and that it isn’t assured.

All those thoughts are just a little confronting to think about. But equally it’s a time to remind ourselves that God is still near. Things are still the same between he and I. They are still the same between God and yourselves. And it’s those encounters with God that we should be dearly looking for. He is there. He’s not gone anywhere. Right now I feel an encouragement to be more actively seeking him. To be mindful of the ways in which he is presenting himself to me.

There’s little doubt the feeling of seeking God more is a thought that has crossed all our minds lately. This is a world now that needs resolution. It needs restoration and healing. It is a world that is crying out for authority and there is none better than God.

Coronavirus has us all feeling a little anxious and concerned. Our daily lives aren’t just affected they are altered. We are learning to do things differently. We are learning to keep our space from people. We are learning to be mindful of the things we do and the way we go about that. We are retraining ourselves in our habits. It’s all a bit unique and different, and we as creatures of habit never like change.

There is though an encouragement. Because even amongst the fear we feel on our streets, our shopping malls and transport network there is something far greater than the strongest fear we can entertain.

God.

He’s not just our creator and father. He is our healer. This is the same God who moved mountains, parted seas and broke droughts. He has an infinite amount of power over this world.

So of course we should continue to ask him for healing of the sick. We should ask him for protection. We should ask that he will bring wisdom and clarity to our political leaders. We should ask him to provide strength and precision to our doctors and their teams, including nurses.

That is the God we encounter when we actively seek him. It is the God we know and have faith in. Even in these challenging times his promises are still so real. He has reminded me so much of that fact in recent months. That all it takes is a genuine heart that seeks him out and one that is willing to receive what he is offering.

So friends. Be open. Be open to the things he places on your heart. Be mindful of the ways in which he speaks to you. Know that there are people in your life for a very specific reason. Challenge yourself to be more open with them. Have a conversation with them, even if you’ve never done so yet. Just know that God has a reason for that moment. It’s all part of his design. And now perhaps more than ever his design needs you working towards it.

All I need is….

I’ve been thinking about the title above for a while now, weeks if I’m honest. The question has been inside my head and the context for how I look at it seems to change every so often. One thing stands out though. The more I think about it the less I think we truly need in life.

There’s plenty we think we need but some of those are likely things we want rather then need. We humans are complexed people. It seems the busier we get the more we seem to feel the need or want for things. The more options we have, the more we want. With this it seems we become less satisfied with what we have.

On the flip side I’ve seen many people who’ve had little in their life. They are simple folk with an existence that seems that life is of a slower pace, but you know what? They seem happy! They carry this “less is more” approach to life which says that even though they have little, they have all that they need. I love it. I wish I could be more like this mindset.

That right there is what we’re all searching for. A place of contentment. A place that tells us not to worry about things. A place that reminds us to wake up each day and remember it’s a blessing simply to be alive. It’s a place where we finally feel like we can breathe and appreciate life. That is what we’re all after.

The catalyst to this piece today is a song I’ve been listening to for 2-3 months now. I’ve mentioned Switchfoot a few times already. Late last year they released a new song off their soon to be released album Native Tongue. The song is called “All I need”. But there’s one series of words that hit me more than the rest.

All I need is the air I breathe,

the time we share,

the ground beneath my feet.

Switchfoot-All I Need

I love it! It reminds me that we don’t need a lot. The air we breathe is free, yet vital to our survival. We need to take life in, fill our lungs with life and experience life the way it was intended.

Life has no boundaries, no expectations, no criteria. We just do it. We just need to learn to enjoy life. Love the things that mean something, laugh a little and take the time to rest for yourself. Why? So that you too can appreciate the things around you.

The time we share is what we hope we remember fondly. The best experiences always involve others. The human interaction element to this is what makes us come alive. The connection we feel with others can be such a positive experience that you just crave more.

And lastly the “ground beneath my feet” implies for me that all we need is right at my feet. It is there for me, for you. It’s right on your doorstep. There is an opportunity right there, it’s not some mythical beast or amazing discovery. It’s right at your feet.

Part of me also feels a reminder too to remain grounded, to keep my feet on the ground and keep perspective in life. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in life and lose track of what’s important.

It’s a pretty cool reminder for remaining focused on what really matters in life. I always feel that when all is said and done in life, how you’re remembered by others is what’s important. What did you stand for? What was important to you? Did you give that thing your best shot? Were you true to yourself?

I’m thankful for the air that I breathe, for the opportunities I have today. I’m thankful I have the confidence and clarity of mind to write this right now, I’m thankful for the same opportunities I’ve had to write other things.

I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to talk to others about the things I’m writing. I’m thankful that there are questions out there that need answers and that there are people out there that know how to verbalise those answers.

Why?

Because life needs these things. We need these things! What i find is that there are more questions than answers out there today, for all of us. Perhaps that’s the real reason we want more than we need???

Perhaps the answer to our questions are found in simplifying life? Maybe the best answer to all our questions is found in focusing on what we need and less on what we want?