So much of what God does is quiet. It seems he loves to hide in plain sight, and often he’s perfectly content to start small. All of this causes us to scratch our heads in disbelief. After all, isn’t he the God of all creation? Didn’t he speak the worlds by his words and part the Red Sea for Moses?
Of course he did, and a good deal more.
It’s just that for all the big, instant and show stopping moments that God has provided in his rather extravagant career, there have been as many, possibly even more, that went completely unseen. And to the degree that we see or think about God as ‘big’ we are potentially conditioning ourselves to the miss the God who is small, slow, hidden and progressive.
In fact, most of God’s biggest moves are precisely the ones that started the smallest. Creation started with a word, perhaps igniting the big bang, but no one knows exactly how long it took for molecules and elements to combine and rearrange into the world we now enjoy — most likely it was more than 6,000 years. After all, it’s taken me the better part of 15 years to get over teenage angst, and that’s with the help of the Spirit, the very same Spirit that was present and at work in creation! Furthermore, when God decided to rescue his beloved creation from sin and death, he sent his son — an 8 lb. 8 oz. baby! And this baby grew up, unnoticed by anyone for years. Of course Jesus made a few heads turn when he was 12, and then, nothing. Just living at home and working with his adopted dad for the next 18 years!
God is certainly in no hurry. He is not bothered by process. It seems to me that he has worked a certain amount of process into life. And unless your quiet, quiet enough to listen, you might become distracted by the loudness of life and miss the whisper of God.
Sometimes we become disheartened because life feels so normal. Sometimes we wonder why our life doesn’t seem to compare to the biblical text. Sometimes we wonder if anything great could come from our lives at all. But if Nazareth could be a home to the savior of the world, and mustard seeds really do become the largest plants in the garden, then there must be a real possibility that God is at work, right beneath the surface, where no one is looking, in ways that no one is expecting.
Don’t lose heart.