“God comes to us disguised as our life”

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Finding God inside the challenges of everyday life

The quote that forms the title of this post is from Paula D’Arcy. I read it in Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr which I’m reading at the moment.

It is one of those quotes that forces you to slow down and ponder the depth of wisdom contained within it. You can read it a thousand times and still find yourself drawn deeper into its truth and insight.

Right now, however, the message in that quote is not what I want to hear.

I like the idea of finding God in the wonder of creation, the eloquence of a poem, or the beauty of a song.

It’s also easy for me to picture myself finding God through reading the Bible or in an inspirational book.

In essence, I like the idea of finding God out there or away from me and my life.

But what if God is far closer to home?

What if God is most powerfully and clearly to be found in the midst of my messy, broken, exhausting, hurting, sinful life?

Right now, life is hard. My eldest daughter has a genetic disorder, my wife is on long-term sick leave, my youngest daughter has tonsillitis, and I’m barely hanging in there, holding everything together.

This is as hard as I can ever remember life being. I’m shattered, weary, and desperately hoping and praying for things to turn around.

And then I go and read a quote like this.

God comes to us disguised as our life.

How on earth is God in all of this, though? And what am I meant to be discovering about God in the midst of everything my family is going through right now?

I have no idea.

The quote resonated with me though and I can sense it’s truthfulness. That doesn’t mean I’ve seen through God’s disguise or suddenly made sense of everything.

It does give me hope, however. Hope that, in time, we will come out of this season with a deeper sense of who God is and how he was with us throughout this time.

It’s hard to see it right now. But I also know enough to appreciate that most personal growth and development comes when times are tough. It is in times of suffering that we actually discover the most about ourselves and God.

So that is what I’m clinging to right now. That God is in all this — even if he seems very much still in disguise to me at the moment.

And it’s a reminder too to prayerfully seek the presence of God in the midst of my everyday life and to not always go looking elsewhere.

A question I regularly ask myself during times of journalling and reflection is: where was God in my day today? D’Arcy’s quote is a reminder to keep digging into that question, no matter how hidden God may seem to be.

For Rachel

Staying prepared for the unexpected