As I was preparing to walk down the aisle almost eighteen years ago, I remember advice shared by our wedding coordinator that I’ve applied and that has helped me every day: “Take mental snapshots as you go throughout your special day. Make sure to notice and remember.”
It’s wonderful advice to apply to any event but especially for experiencing everyday life — perhaps even more so with Jesus. Notice and remember.
God usually teaches me more about Himself through my daughter than God is probably teaching my daughter through me — one of the gifts of being a parent. Through conversations with her about the adventures we’ve shared and funny stories of her childhood, I’ve realized she can sometimes remember a hard or difficult experience from the same time period much quicker than a positive one. I’m aware I can and have done the same thing through my own life.
Because of that, we’ve been focusing a lot of our energy on noticing what God is doing, remembering the good and focusing our hearts and minds on what Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT).
Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned . . . and the God of peace will be with you.
But this list from Paul in his letter to the Philippine church seems unrealistic for the times we are living in or completely daunting since it feels unachievable.
How do we “fix our thoughts” much less find what is true, honorable, and right in the current state of our world?
Pure, lovely, and to be admired? I can’t even find that in me much less as I walk through each day.
Excellent and worthy of praise? That sounds impossible.
I’m realizing as I work through Paul’s list that these qualities are only found in God. Only when the Holy Spirit is at work can we find God’s attributes and have His help to choose to notice and remember.
Apart from God, this list of qualities is impossible to experience. Only God can give us the ability to see Him at work so we can praise Him and have peace.
Noticing God is a great place to start.
What if we approached our days with the eagerness of a real life scavenger hunt? The prize would be finding God all around us, empowering us to live a life of praise and peace for our weary souls.
What if fixing our eyes on Jesus looks like noticing His truth, beauty, and works in His word and as we walk through our day?
If we do, our noticing will quickly turn into love.
Jesus chose to notice those whom others had ignored, giving Him the opportunity to do a miracle.
Jesus noticed the greedy, short man that everyone wanted to ignore and transformed his life over dinner.
Jesus noticed the woman who was desperate for healing and answered her prayer.
Jesus noticed the woman who was caught in sin and taught her and others what grace really is.
Jesus noticed the man who was given a death sentence and forgave him for all eternity.
And Jesus noticed when the Spirit directed Him to wait, to go, and to stay. And by His noticing, Jesus remembered why He had been sent.
What if our noticing of God’s character in our daily lives is not only to encourage us but also to enable us to love others?
Let’s follow Jesus’ example of noticing God at work and seeing others where they’re at so we can actively love. Let’s go on a daily adventure of noticing God and remembering His goodness, so you can have His peace when you need it most.Leave a Comment
Thank you for that encouragement this morning! Many people in my life fail to notice things. I have recently had a conversation with my 12 year old daughter about noticing what her friends like and don’t like from school. That is how you can bless them with a special gift or fill-in-the-blank. It makes them feel important and that you actually care. I like to notice food items that people can or cannot eat, it is difficult when you are not able to eat all food given to you due to health issues. How fitting that Jesus did notice…so many times in scripture. Thank you for the remainder to notice God in our every day. By doing this, we praise and honour Him!!
Praise God for His unfailing love and mercy toward us. God bless your day and your ministry!
Bev Rihtarchik says
One of the “blessings” of this pandemic is it has slowed me down and I am noticing things more. This spring, I spent a lot of time walking in my yard and garden areas. I took pictures of all the different flowers and plants and really took notice of their intricacies. I paused long enough to really take it in. I find I’m more cognisant of people’s body language and can assess if they are doing okay or are really struggling. I’ve always been an observant person, but this season has sharpened my senses. So true it all starts with noticing God and then His love is able to flow through us to others.
Lea scheuber says
This is absolutely beautiful! I needed to hear this today! Thank you so much! I love these blogs and website!
Have a blessed day!
Through the eyes of a child i still see His grace and opportunities to Praise Him. This morning i heard forgive as He forgave with grace. I recall a paraphrase from Helen Keller. It is not what we can see it is the gift of faith rejpicing in the gifts we do not see. God bless you and thank you all for your words.
Becky L. says
This writing reminds me of what “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp wrote. I finished reading it last night. She realized it was good be with God in what ever she’s doing during the day at home or out and about. He’s always with us and I need to keep that in mind through the day, as I am home now instead of working. I don’t always have him in mind but I know Him and thank him for things I see that I enjoy. Like a rainbow in the sky after rain driving home from shopping, birds on my bird feeder, cute squirrels, a house to live in with my husband, finally empty nesters. Little things mean a lot to Him. Big things like me not breaking any bones in an injury I had this year. A struggle thru it, body wise. But I made it thru the hard time with Him helping me thru it. God is good. All the time.
Thanks for sharing your story.
Awesome read! Easy for me to understand. Thank you❤️
Nancy Kavanagh says
Thank you. I have learned to slow down, take a breath and look not only for the beauty in all things but sometimes the ugly things give me pause and help me learn and breathe too.
Brenda M Russell says
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with others. I am so glad to know how important it is to be alert and watchful every day for signs of God’s Grace and Tender Mercies. You are right, maybe this will help Christ followers help others who need encouragement.
Yes, I need the Holy Spirit to guide me every day and to remind me of God’s love for me and how He has a plan for my life. I am on a journey to find out what God wants me to do, day by day and this will help me in my future.
Thank You Lord for taking care of me.
What a beautiful expression of God’s love and compassion for us! Thank you for sharing your perspective with us. I felt especially touched by your examples of Jesus’ healing ministry of love and mercy to the needy and downtrodden. Makes me think how much we need to do the same.
Beth Williams says
This pandemic while bad has some good side effects. It has slowed us all down long enough to “smell the roses”. No more rushing around from one activity to the next. We have time to sit & ponder on the goodness of God. It has introduced me to new friends (members of in-laws church) & allowed me to assist in their ministries. I’ve gotten to really enjoy looking outside my window & watching the animals move about. This world moves at such break neck speed that no one has time to just sit, know & really think about God. Now we have the time to reflect on life & truly praise God for ALL He’s done & given us.
K Ann Guinn says
I sorely needed this reminder right now. Thanks!
Wow wow wow, this has blown my mind. A noticing God scavenger hunt. My first thoughts were to ouryouth group and how could we introdce this concept to them, however I was thinking small, thinkingabout nature and the way God shows himself through its awesomeness, I am privilalaged to live in a beautiful part of the world and have spend covid-times sharing that with others through 10 second videos on instagram(@anna.puddles). Then I read your bit about Jesus noticing people, oh how awesome and actually do-able most of that is, we can do this “And Jesus noticed when the Spirit directed Him to wait, to go, and to stay. And by His noticing, Jesus remembered why He had been sent.” This part seams to be another level to me, thank you for writing this I was about to put my laptop down and get on with other things, when I kept getting drawn to open the email with this post in it. So glad I did. Years ago a “popular girl” after chatting to my husband (a youth worker) decided tolook around the playground at school and find the person on thier own and befriend them…..(long story short) a year later there were about 20 more young people in thier youth club. The girl said most of her popular firiends disowned her but her new friends were so much better and more real, so she didn’t regret it at all. Your post reminded me of that and challenged me anew,. Thank you