More from Carolyn Chapman

February 4, 2018 by Carolyn Chapman (Missouri)

I love when I see revelations of God’s character in nature. I wish I could say I catch these “God sightings” all the time, but the truth is, I’m often too wrapped up in my own agenda to notice God breaking through. But on vacation, when I’m not worried about to-do lists at work or laundry at home, I am more open to seeing God’s hand revealed.

We go to the beach just about every year, and while there, I see God in the sunrise, in the waves, and through the breeze moving the palm trees. But the crab stood out to me so much because it reminded me of myself. That little crab was so determined to make it to shore all by itself, despite the waves consistently pushing it further from its goal. I, too, try to navigate life on my own. But I need help. God has generously provided friends, coworkers, and family to help carry my burdens, if I only accept their offers of help. And often help comes in unexpected ways. That day on the beach, I expected the other adults to help me save the little crab, but the saving came from the young teenaged boy who quickly saw the need and solved the problem.

This crab reminds me of two truths. First, God does not hide from us. He’s everywhere, and one of my goals in 2018 is to be more intentional in looking for God. Maybe it’s the quick conversation with a stranger, or the way the sun peeks through the clouds on my daily commute. But I will look for Him and seek the truth behind these reminders that He’s always near.

Second, I will not carry my burdens alone. And I will try to look for help from unexpected sources. For example, I serve as the Care and Connection Coordinator for my church. When I enlist volunteers for various projects, I often rely on the same go-to people. But this year, I will prayerfully consider asking unexpected folks to step into roles they may have never envisioned for themselves.

Psalm 104 charts the many ways God reveals Himself in creation: in the wind, the water, the thunder, the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and yes, even the sea, “vast and spacious, teeming with creation beyond number.” Yet God used just such a tiny creature to speak His truth. How might He use me if I only listened to His direction.

Thanks be to God who is always surprising us with examples of His tender love and care.

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