**This is an image I googled, not trying to take ownership for it!**
Does anyone remember these books from your youth? I don’t think we ever owned a Where’s Waldo book, but I loved looking through them any chance I had. Doctor’s offices, friend’s houses . . . the thrill of trying to find him was more than I could ignore. Sometimes, Waldo leaped at me from the pages. Other times, I would search and search. I would feel the first tinglings of excitement as I spotted some red and blue, then it would dissipate as I realized I had been tricked once again. On some pages, I could looks for a lot of minutes (and at such a young age, that was a LONG time!) and never find him. In those instances, I’d flip to the back of the book where Waldo was revealed to those like me who just gave up. As I would go back to the page, it couldn’t be more obvious where he had been hiding . . . now that he’d been revealed to me, anyway.
The other day, during my quiet time I pondered my 2017 goals. The top of my list is to edit and polish the book I wrote (praise God for allowing me to check off a lifelong goal!). Spiritually, there are other goals I have in mind. I had been considering doing another prayer challenge for the month of January, and then I found a journal from Lent 2016. And a new idea formed.
As some of you may know, for Lent this past year I gave up television and all forms of social media in order to focus on my relationship with Christ. I wanted to really connect with Christ, and gain a deeper appreciation for what He did on the cross. During this time, I read a book called Believing God by Beth Moore. This book really impacted my faith life. One specific thing I loved was when Beth encouraged readers to journal “Godstops.” She said, “We will call the glimpses we catch of God at work ‘Godstops.’ The stop in Godstop is an acronym for ‘savoring the observable presence.'” (Believing God, pg. 39) I have a few “Godstops” recorded in my journal from this time, but as I’m good at, I let it slip.
Seeing God at work in my life is a lot like finding Waldo. Some days, His presence is so clear. I praise Him for the wonderful works He’s doing in my life. Other days . . . if I am being honest, most days, I don’t see Him. If God isn’t doing something huge in my life, or answering a specific prayer, I miss seeing His hand at work. Most days, I fail to stop and recognize Him. I fail to praise Him and thank Him for all he does.
Just like Waldo was always on every page, God is working in our lives EVERY SINGLE DAY.
So, here’s my challenge. I invite you to join me. In January, I am going to take time every single day of the month – that’s 31 days, you all – to sit down and look for God’s hand in my day. Some days, it’ll be obvious. Other days, I’m going to have to pray about it and ask God for some help. Either way, I am committing to making this a daily part of my days in January.
Are you hesitant? I know why. I’m so busy. I won’t have the time to just sit and think about how God is working in my life. I get it, I really do. Until God forced me to slow down by physically removing me from my comfortable life in West Virginia, I threw that excuse out a lot.
If you are too busy to commit to acknowledging God’s hand in your life each and every day, you are simply too busy. I say this with love. No judgment, I understand. I encourage you to try.
Here’s how this challenge will look. For those who want to join me, I will create a Facebook group just for this challenge. Each morning, I ask that you start your day with a simple prayer – I will even provide it the night before the challenge starts. At some point during each day, I will post the day’s date and Godstop. I encourage you to share with the group every day how you saw God at work. Why? I believe we can encourage each other to look in different ways/areas for God’s hand by sharing our experiences. I will post each day how I saw God in my life, and I’ll also be really honest if I struggled to see Him.
I will also be praying for all of you during this whole challenge.
My hope? I hope that anyone who participates grows closer to God through this challenge. If we get in a habit of recognizing Him and acknowledging Him, we will hear Him more often! I will be praying for God to reveal Himself in a big way to each participant over the course of the month.
Let’s start 2017 with our eyes fixed on Christ.