What stories can you tell of God working in your life? What comes to mind? For me, I tell the stories of when God worked in an unmistakable way for my good. Something about it was meaningful and miraculous. These stories do not come around that often and I think it is one element that makes them memorable.
But how many ways has God been at work in the seemingly mundane and trivial actions of life and I missed it? I only counted the big stuff and missed the little things. The God who works in the details of creation also works in the everyday activities of our lives in ways we will not see until after he has moved on.
3 Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites. He said, 4 “I am a foreigner and stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.” (Genesis 23:-4)
Abraham was an incredibly rich man, but he owned no land in this space that God promised to his descendants. Abraham’s purchase of the tomb was meant to secure a permanent spot for his current and future needs for burial. It was this tomb that would provide the permanent resting place for Sarah, Abraham, and their family.
In the larger picture, it signaled the trust that Abraham put in God’s promise that he would own more than this little spit of land. David suggests that this was Abraham acting in the normal course of life, but also displaying a future hope that all the land around this field and cave would belong to his descendants. God used the ordinary course of life to signal his intentions to keep his promise.
I agree with David. God uses our “normal” and our “mundane” to accomplish greater things than we ever considered. Sometimes we are aware of it and sometimes we are not. Often, I only see God’s hand in the small things when I look back over a sweep of time.
I recognize God’s hand at work in his leading us to Pennsylvania. While the story of the connecting with Perkiomenville Mennonite Church is pretty exciting stuff, there are a number of small, mundane choices and circumstances that preceded that connection. There was a move from Oregon to California, odd jobs, small shifts in planning, missed real estate opportunities, job changes, and even a firing. In the course of all these smaller actions, a larger plan was at play. My experience suggests that it is not the last act.
We do not always live on the edge of the exciting or incredible. The glorious impossible comes in the incredibly ordinary if we allow the Lord to live in us. Even today, God is working in our living and in our choices. It may be worth stopping on the path and looking backward to see how he has fit the pieces together.