Luke, the physician, writes in his Gospel account: "In the sixth month the angel 'Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, 'Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!' But she was greatly troubled at the saying and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus'" (Chapter 1:26-31). Looking at this situation, we see Mary probably going about her usual daily activities. There was nothing out of the ordinary here, but when the angel appeared, everything changed. This is how God works in our lives. He meets us where we are at in the daily routines of life.
When God met with Abraham, it was by the oaks of Mamre in the heat of the day (Genesis 18:1-8). God's encounter with Jacob took place while he was napping, and Moses was tending sheep when he saw the burning bush. In all these situations, people were going about their daily activities. Somehow we have convinced ourselves that God can only meet with us in some spectacular way with a sign or a special word; yet, God's ways are much different than our ways. He chooses to speak with a still small voice even though He could thunder an answer to our questions. So how do we detect God in the ordinary activities like Moses, Abraham, Jacob and Mary?
By walking in close relationship with our Lord each day through prayer and reading of His Word, we become attune to His footsteps in our lives. Knowing His character, obeying His direction for our life, and seeking His guidance help us to recognize His presence throughout each day. God is in the small details of our lives even more than the big ones. This was illustrated to me today when a fellow came into our business.
This gentleman had made several appointments with us for our professional services, but he either cancelled or did not show up. Today, however, he came to say that he had not followed through because he lacked funds. I suggested a free program that would provide for him (if he qualified) professional services without any cost to him. He was delighted at this prospect. During the time he was in our office, he overheard conversation about the Bible amongst our employees and was encouraged when we were able to repair his glasses. Before he left, he told me that our office had been an encouragement to him. He said we provided a lift that he needed and he knew the Lord had met him there today. What a blessing to hear this! We always try to treat everyone with kindness and a good witness, but God met this man in a special way that he needed today.
As we prepare for Christmas, remember that God meets us in ordinary circumstances just as He met with Mary. We need to take our eyes off of bright lights, big billboards, extravaganzas and other distractions and focus instead on the still small voice of God that meets us where we are at. He speaks to us through His Word and communes with us in prayer. Don't miss the blessing of the ordinary places this Christmas. Instead, enjoy and embrace a daily walk with our Lord who desires to fellowship with us each day. Selah!