Where do I see God
By Morgan Tranmer, Administrative Assistant at the Nebraska Synod
This year has brought to light the many places that I see God working in my life. COVID-19 quickly changed my daily patterns from community focused and social to lonely and isolating. In the matter of a few weeks, I had changed careers, moved to a new city, began to quarantine at home, and lost the many aspects of community that I valued. The political climate was shifting, people were calling for overdue social change, and I became increasingly anxious about the future, my role in this world, and how I would continue to serve my community in a positive way.
So where have I seen God in all this? I tend to struggle with this question. My fear is that this simple question leads us to wonder where God is present only in the positive moments of our lives. It is easy to say that we see God in a beautiful sunrise or a random act of kindness.
However, sometimes those ‘God moments’ can be hard to find while working through anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. If we are only looking for the bright lights of God’s presence, it feels easy to question God’s presence during the darkness.
Is God present when I am burning the candle at both ends and simply surviving, or when I feel hurt and betrayed by a friend? Is God walking alongside me as I struggle with low self-esteem and negative self-talk or with my friend struggling with infertility? What about my neighbor suffering depression, and the refugee struggling to survive? Is God surrounding the person dying from complications with COVID and the teenager coming out to their parents?
Gosh, none of these are anywhere close to pretty sunsets or paying for the coffee in the car behind you. Facing our brokenness isn’t fun. However, if we only focus on the positive presence of God, we are no longer pointing to Christ on the cross as our way to understand life. Through the cross, we can recognize the presence of Christ, a Christ that suffered and died on the cross for us.
So where am I seeing God? I feel God’s presence while I wrestle with forgiving someone that has hurt me. I hear God when someone witnesses my brokenness, my insecurities, and my doubts and loves me. I taste God in the saltiness of tears while in mourning. I know God to be present in my lowest lows, my moments of anxiety, and my darkest valleys. I am reminded that the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.
Knowing God, you entered this world of imperfect people, walked alongside us, and died on the cross for our sins. As we walk through this advent season, I pray that we can be the voice that proclaims love, share the embrace that accepts others, and have the courage to walk alongside those that are scared and hurting. I pray our actions, our thoughts, and our words point to the cross, now and forever.