I love being around new believers. They see God in everything – the simple, the big, the mundane.
They’re like children with a giant bowl of ice cream – Eyes wide. Mouths watering. They eat every bite as if it’s their last and then lick the bowl until it’s clean. No concern over the flavor filled mess dripping down their faces. They’ve just had ice cream, and it was delicious! They’ve discovered the most amazing thing they’ve ever experienced in their life and they can’t get enough.
New believers see the every day wonders of this world and instantly credit God for allowing them to experience it all.
“Did you see that sunrise God created?”
“When the kids were jumping in and out of the shopping cart, God sent that beautiful, elderly woman to the grocery store so that she would tell me it’ll get better.”
“That bagel and cream cheese I had for breakfast was so amazing. God is good!”
I was talking to a friend the other day who happens to be a new believer. She told me that God knew exactly what she needed that day, and he gave it to her. My first reaction was to wonder why God wasn’t concerned about what I needed each day? I could use an experience or a moment so perfectly created by God that there would be no denying His hand. It felt like it had been so long. Sure, I’ve seen God in many different ways over the last few months. It’s not like he’s not around, but the big moments? It seemed pretty dry.
As I pondered this in my head probably longer than normal as I’m inclined to do, I had a thought that has nagged me for a while now. What if I’ve stopped seeing God like a new believer? What if God is giving me exactly what I need every single day, but I’m too distracted, or worse, too jaded to see it. Have I allowed the small miracles of God to bore me?
Surely not. That can’t be true. I love the God moments. Yet, the idea kept creeping up into my thoughts and my journaling. I was treating God no different than a fad diet or the latest beauty product. Sure, I’d see the results getting excited that I finally found something to stick with - My skin looks so young! I lost 5 pounds! Then, one day, the results didn’t seem so astounding. It was good for a while, but my expectations were greater. I wanted more.
How could my expectations of God get so high that I could no longer see him in the little moments? Had I started taking God for granted?
I began to look back at all the prayers I had written down in my journal over the past year. The things I’d asked God for. I poured through my journals and forced myself to see where I used to be and where I currently am. If you journal, I challenge you to do this, but beware. You may find what I discovered. God had answered so many prayers that I’d never acknowledged. Not even a simple thank you. Which lead me to two conclusions.
Did I stop noticing the blessings because I expected them to occur? God loves me therefore he will give me what I ask.
Did I stop noticing the blessings because I never expected them to occur? These are petty requests. There are starving kids who need more than me. How dare I even ask?
Neither conclusion felt good and to be perfectly honest, I’m still searching my heart for which category I fell into. I don’t want to stop seeing the wonder of it all. I thought God was just choosing to show himself to the new believers in His kingdom because they needed the reassurance. They needed to see Him, so they’d decide to stick around. The problem with that logic is that it implies God isn’t exactly the same every day of every week. He’s the constant. We’re the ones who change. Change isn’t bad, but in the midst of our growth as Christians, we must continue to keep our eyes fixed on God. If we look away and stop seeing Him and all His glory, small or large, we may be growing in the wrong direction. We might know more because we now read the Bible or feel more confident in our beliefs, but losing sight of the sheer awesomeness of God and his everyday miracles limits our relationship. Suddenly, the gap between us and non-believers isn’t so wide.