In My Own Words/My Faith/My Life

How I Realized that God is Everywhere

God is everywhere. God is present. God surprises.

One of my favorite stories in the Bible appears in 1 Kings 19: 11-13. Here God intends to reveal Himself to Elijah.

First a “great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”

Elijah immediately recognizes the presence of God, not in any of the awesome forces of nature, but in a small quiet sound. This made me realize that, although we know God is present everywhere, sometimes we have to look carefully to find Him. More often than not God shows up in unexpected places. It’s like “Where’s Waldo,” but with God, which is like a million times cooler!

One time when I definitely felt the presence of God was on a trip with my scholars group to Saint Louis, Missouri in 2014. My favorite place we visited was the City Museum, a giant playground made out of recycled cars and other things to climb on and get lost within. As amazing as this museum was, it was not anywhere I thought I’d see God. Our museum guide advised us to take everything out of our pockets because this was a gnarly place to lose your cell phone. “Easy enough,” I thought. So I left my phone on the bus. However, for some mysterious reason, I decided to keep my wallet in my back pocket.

After about two hours of climbing, sliding, and trying to fit through very small holes in the wall, I noticed I was missing something. You guessed it: my wallet.

If there is a worst possible place in the entire world to lose your wallet, it’s the City Museum in Saint Louis, Missouri. I stopped my friends and told them what happened, but what could we do? Retracing our steps was hardly an option as we had probably crawled through half a mile of mazes and trap doors. Without any real direction, we roamed around looking on the ground and inquiring from the occasional passers-by. I wasn’t really a fan of bothering strangers about my wallet because there were probably over a thousand people in that museum, and the chances that anyone would have seen it were too small to matter. As we were all getting discouraged, my good friend Katherine asked some guy walking next to us if he had found a wallet.

He said yes.

What?! How?! In this huge museum of caves and tunnels and slides and a giant white whale, he had actually found my wallet?! He was lying, there was no way. Impossible. Inconceivable. No. No. No.  

Yes.

He called over his uncle and they handed me my wallet. We thanked them and went on our way, but I couldn’t help thinking there was something more than luck at work. It was God, simple as that. I saw God that day at the City Museum, he was just disguised as some random guy.

So what does my story mean? It means that God is everywhere, especially where you don’t think He will be. And if we know that God is out there, what’s stopping us from finding Him? God appears to us in a different place, a different form, a different voice every day. Where will you see Him?

Dear God, thank You for constantly involving Yourself in our lives, even if we don’t know it. Help us today and every day to seek You out and to guide others to You. We ask that You remain with us through good times and bad, and that You keep surprising us as to where we will find You next.

Amen.

About the Author

Nick Bernard

I once played a character named "Jim" on an ad for my city's local Catholic radio station, and my friend Kelly played "Kathy." Unfortunately, my career in radio was pretty short lived (maybe twenty minutes total?). My relationship with Jesus is simultaneously beautiful, raw, intimate, and wild, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The Lord continues to invite me deeper into His love, and I can't wait to see where He'll take me next. If you'd like to follow along with me in my journey with Christ, you can find me on Instagram @n1ckb3rnard.