Every night after we put Josiah to sleep, I find evidence of him throughout the house: a giant toy lizard he thought needed to go in the fridge, a stash of goldfish behind the couch, a soccer ball in the washing machine (that is now super clean), toy cars he piled in my purse, and endless hand prints on every glass surface in the apartment. During the day this annoys me, but late at night, it's a sweet reminder of his presence in our home, little surprises (albeit that I have to clean up) of his existence.
I'm finding more that this is how God shows up in my life. I expect to experience God in worship, in my Bible study. In fact I think it's the daily spiritual disciplines like prayer and Bible study that train our eyes to see him and our hearts to notice him. But that's where he's supposed to show up. I sometimes think of God like a coach who meets with me in Bible study to train me, then sends me into the game without actually going with me. Nope. Not how it works at all. God meets with me in prayer and Bible study, then he never leaves my side, not helping me live, but living through me. I already know this, yet I'm still always surprised every time he shows up in the middle of an ordinary moment to take my breath away.
Last month, I was helping my sister register for her baby shower, and we scanned a ton of items that my daughter Abby won't be able to have in Bangkok: carseat, huge infant stroller, an actual crib, stuff like that. I was fine with not having all that, I had it all with Josiah and it's just not practical here. It's sounds so stupid, but the only thing I was jealous about were the diapers! She got boxes of awesome American diapers. It's totally my personal opinion, but I think Pampers are the absolute most luxury diaper you can put on a baby. Josiah only wore them for about a month or two and then straight to Target brand (unless I had coupons), but I loved putting that newborn booty in those overpriced pampers. I was sad my daughter would have to take her poops in Thai diapers (ah the suffering life of a missionary). Like I said, I know it's stupid, but it's how I felt.
Then yesterday a sweet friend gave me a huge bag of maternity clothes, perfect for the scalding hot weather of BKK. As soon as I put J down for his nap, I quickly went to try everything on, so excited about my new maternity wardrobe. I got to the bottom of the bag and there were two packages of newborn Pamper Swaddlers diapers she had ordered from the states and never used. I just stood over the bag. They're small packages -- Abby will probably go through them in less than a week, but that wasn't the point. I didn't expect to meet God digging through a bag of maternity clothes in the afternoon. I didn't expect the blessing of diapers, but it came. At that moment I felt God saying "I will take care of you. You're going to have this baby in Thailand, and you will have everything you need. And it's going to come straight from me." What do I need that he can't give me? What is too hard for him to accomplish? Nothing.
Maybe your surprise moment will come from a different place.
God, I never expected to see you in the middle of paying my bills.
God, I never expected to see you while I was filling my car with gas.
God, I never expected to see you while helping my son brush his teeth before bed.
God, I never expected to see you in my hour wait for a table at the restaurant.
What are your "I never expected to see you" moments? If God showed up in the middle of your ordinary day, could you recognize him?
Although I try my hardest, when you walk in the door of our apartment, you don't have to look very far to find evidence that a three year old lives there. A believer's life will have the evidence of God all around it. He will meet you in the hidden places of your day, in unexpected conversations, in stressful situations, in laughter, in frustration, in waiting, and in confidence. Recognize him and lean on him. He will surprise you with his presence and overwhelm you with his love.