God Moments

What is a God moment? A God moment is a clear moment when God shows himself in special way. For example: a child can’t go to summer mission trip bc the family can’t afford it and out of the blue a silent donor steps up and provides the funds for the child to go to camp. That is a God moment.

I witnessed a BIG God moment recently. It was really someone else’s God moment bc it happened to them so I won’t detail it here -but I saw the moment too. I saw God in what happened to them and bc I needed a God moment in my life it became mine as well. It was as if God raised his arm and was waving a big yellow flag and saying “Yes I am here! Yes I love you. Yes I see your life and your challenges and I will help you! ‘

OK! Wow I see it. Why do I need these God moments to affirm what I already know – that our God is with us in our lives all the time? Why did I need it? Because I was losing hope. I was down. I was wondering when God was going to fix my problems. Where the heck was he? Well Anne, HE is here ALL THE TIME! In the muck and the mire he is here. When our hearts ache he is here. WITH US – ALL THE TIME.

We need to pay attention to God moments. They are not just gifts to the deserving and only lucky folks get them. No- God moments are for everyone. Sometimes we miss a God moment because it isn’t a big one like the one I witnessed the other day. Or we think of the moment as a blessing but not as God truly showing himself to us. God is in all things. Small moments are God moments too. We are just human-we sometimes need the pomp and circumstance of a BIG God moment to get our attention. We say “Oh wow- he is here.”  Gods like” I am here all the time- I just had to make sure you saw me. You’ve been missing me.”

Writer Jerry Schmoyer writes in Time Out (on Studentministry.org), “So appreciate the “God moments” as the “icing on the cake” special love notes from God, but do not limit God’s involvement in our lives to these. Realize that every activity and every event in our life is, in fact, a God moment.”

So it took a God moment given to someone else for me to be lifted up again with hope. It feels somewhat selfish to grab on to another’s moment – but it was a moment for me too- it just spoke to me and I think God truly wanted it that way. God is trying to tell me that He is here all the time. He is in every moment. I can take another persons moment and be reaffirmed bc God wants it this way. He wants to tap me on my shoulder to remind me to come up for air and breath him in.

Take a moment and look around – God moments are right there in front of you. It doesn’t have to bowl you over like it apparently needed to do to me to wake me up and get me focused. They are there to be seen and appreciated. What a wonderful God we have.

The God moment I wrote about in the first paragraph? The one where the child got to attend the mission trip? That was my daughter.  We were that family. I did not grasp that as a God moment at first- how things fell together to get my child to that trip. It was hard to accept that gift at first. It was easy for me in my bravado to ignore that it was a God moment but as I sat to write this column it dawned on me that I missed the subtle nudge from God letting me know he is right here taking care of me and my family. Our human minds can become so muddled we sometimes just do not see what is right in front of us.

We shouldn’t need BIG God moments to get us back on track or to help us have faith. We have God in every minute of every day. But the good thing is those moments are going to happen no matter what because we have a loving God who is glorious and is going to be part of our lives whether we see him or not. So we always have a chance to be knocked over by one of the big moments if thats what it takes. —Praise God for that!

Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

 

Gratitude

I recently wrote this for my church’s newsletter.——–

Perspectives……..by Anne Sweeney

Gratitude-

I had one of those God moments this month. Where a word or thought has popped into my head a number of times. I just felt like God wanted me to write about that word. That word was Gratitude- hence my topic for this month.

What is gratitude? Gratitude in defined on Dictionary.com as the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.

What is gratitude from a Christian viewpoint? Gratitude in the Christian sense is a spiritual practice. It is about offering a deep thankfulness for the Lord’s work in our lives.

I don’t think I am always truly gracious from the Christian viewpoint. Oh, I give my thanks to those who help me, we say grace each evening, I pray and read the Bible when I can, and I try to thank God each morning that I wake up to another day. But I don’t find that I always have what I call deep gratitude. It’s more than just thanking God. It is the need to be more intentional in gratitude. As Christians we have so much to be thankful for.

When I realize what has been given to me by Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection I can hardly believe what I have been given. I surely don’t deserve it. The more I look into myself from a Godly perspective the more awful I seem. There is NO way I could ever get into heaven if it was not for Jesus Christ and His sacrifice He made. I have been given amazing grace!

In a society where we want this and that, and we feel entitled to this and that, we often feel angry when we don’t get what we want. We often blame God. We let the every day stuff stomp out the important things and the things we should have the most gratitude for – the love and grace from God.

Randy Alcorn from Eternal Perspective Ministries puts it like this (and I could not say it any better)” If only we could see our situation clearly—even for a moment. We deserved expulsion; He gives us a diploma. We deserved the electric chair; He gives us a parade. Anything less than overwhelming gratitude should be unthinkable. He owes us nothing. We owe Him everything. When you realize you deserve nothing better than hell, it puts a “bad day” in perspective, doesn’t it?

Uh- yes that gives me some perspective…how about you? When we realize what we , as Christians, have been saved from shouldn’t the gratitude to God and the smaller every day things just overflow from us? I know this does not always happen though. How can we be more intentionally gracious?
If we look at gratitude as a belief system and an intentional way of life- a choice – we can grow our spirit of thankfulness even when we are amidst the negative times in our lives. Jame A. Autry author of “Choosing Gratitude -Learning to Love the Life You Have” reminds us that “there will always be more reasons for gratitude than for despair.” In practicing gratitude the sorrow and bitterness will be replaced with joy and a humbleness for what we are being given but don’t deserve- grace and redemption. I have some work to do! What about you?

Thank you for reading!