Sometimes the question is asked ‘If you could choose to spend a day with anyone in the world, past or present, who would you choose?’ It can be quite revealing to listen to people’s answers. Some choose famous characters from history, some may choose a pop star or celebrity. Some stick with the more conventional choice and declare that it would be their husband or wife. It’s quite fun to think about, but who would you choose?
As Christians we can choose to spend not just one day, but every day with the almighty God! This is not just an interesting idea to discuss, it is a reality that is available to us.
I love the idea that every day is new and the potential that each day holds. I am excited by the idea that no day is unnoticed or pointless in God’s plan. I rejoice in the fact that God’s compassion is ‘new every morning.’ (Lamentations 3:22-23) and I love hearing the words of the Psalmist, ‘I will exalt you, my God the King… Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. (Psalm 145: 1-2)
Each day and each moment is precious wherever we are and whatever we are doing. As we get older, we have less days left on earth, but maybe this can lead to us valuing each one more. We may be increasingly frail or housebound or finding life more and more difficult but we can all seek to consciously live in God’s presence each day and to recognise what he is doing in our lives.
Firstly, how can we ensure we remember God each moment of the day? One way we can do this is by having physical things that we can see, or actions we can do that remind us of God. This is not a new idea, it was given by God as instructions to his people in the Old Testament, ‘These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates.’ (Deuteronomy 6:6) Basically the Israelites were instructed to talk about God’s commands and to take steps to ensure they were constantly reminded of God. We too need to apply that idea to our own lives. When our daughter lived at home, she put a note on the front door so the last thing we saw as we went out was ‘Stop! Think! How am I going to glorify God today?’ It was a surprisingly effective reminder.
Or, there may be certain actions that you do that can serve to remind you of God’s love and care. For example, I have started seeing the act of opening the curtains in the morning as a blessing to me. As I look out on the new day, I am aware that the sun has risen once again showing that God is still sustaining the world. I have to confess that this is not my own idea. Tim Chester expresses it much better than I can in his book ‘Enjoying God’; ‘I may wake up tomorrow morning feeling spiritually dry. I may feel crushed by my guilt or weighed down by my responsibilities. I may feel I lack God’s immediate support. But I open my curtains and see that the sun has risen. I recognise by faith that this is God’s world. He continues to care for his creation and he continues to care for me. He’s fathering me even if today I feel spiritually dry. I’m experiencing his love even though I don’t have any warm sensations inside…’ 1
Maybe we can all begin to notice things in our lives that point us to God?
Secondly, how can we learn to see the events of our lives each day as a visual aid through which God can teach us?
We can all get into the habit of looking back on the events of each day and seeing the evidence of God acting in our lives. At the moment, we have our daughter and son-in-law and granddaughter (aged 3) living with us. Sometimes when I get home from work as soon as I open the door, I know that my granddaughter is back from nursery. The evidence is unmistakable. Her coat is on the floor, her school bag is on the bench and there is a line of biscuit crumbs between the kitchen and the lounge. On the other hand, there are other days when I am busy or distracted and I come in without noticing the signs all around me that tell me she is there. I think it is similar regarding the evidence for God’s work in our lives. Some days, I see evidence of God all around, but other days I just don’t notice.
Let us make sure we have our eyes open to see the evidence of God in our lives.
Questions for reflection:
How can we remember the presence of God each day?
What physical things or what actions could remind you of God’s presence?
How do you think trying to look at each day from God’s perspective would help you in your situation?
How much would it help to write down things that have reminded you of God’s presence with you today?
Tim Chester, Enjoying God (The Good Book Company, 2018), p. 175