Call – Opelika-Auburn News
Helping people to see
I read somewhere about a young man who
was desperately seeking God. He sought out a wise old man who lived nearby and
asked him: “Old man, how I can I see God?”
The old man, who must have known God at a
depth few people ever experience, pondered the question. Then he responded
gently: “Young man, I am not sure that I can help you – for you see, I have a
very different problem. I cannot not
The old man’s answer makes me wonder what
I might have said had I been that old man. I think I might have said, “Young
man, I see God everywhere.” And if he had asked me to explain, I would have
begun with his question.
I see God in the heart’s quest to see
God. Only God could have put in our hearts the longing to see God. Every
reasonable person longs to know that there is a benevolent God responsible for
creation. So in a sense the young man’s question is the question of every human
being. Is God real? If so, how can I see God?
I have been a minister for 65 years. What
is ministry? It is more than preaching. It is more than pastoral care and more
than growing and maintaining churches. Ministry is helping people to see God,
and seeing him, to get to know him, then love and serve him. So where can one
I see God in the Bible. What a great book
it is. It shows me Jesus and tells me that when I see Jesus, I have seen God.
Jesus puts a face on God. Before the birth of Jesus, no one had seen God. God
had made himself known by giving us laws to live by. But then God chose to send
his son into the world and that son, the Bible tells us, is the image of the
invisible God. Only a loving God could have inspired the creation of so great a
book as the Holy Bible!
I see God in the kindness and forgiving
love of my wife. For 64 years she has constantly offered me compassion instead
of criticism for my many mistakes as a husband. Her kindness has been like a
magnet drawing me toward a more excellent way to live. Only a loving God could
have produced such a woman!
I see God in the frequent telephone calls
of my friend George Mathison. When my phone rings at 5:30 in the morning I
figure it is George calling. When I answer, George says, “Brother Walter, I
have been on my knees praying for you this morning and I just wanted to call
and tell you how much I love you.” Only a loving God could produce a man like
I see God in the star in an apple. Many
times my wife has cut an apple open before children and shown them the
remarkable star in the center of the apple. I see God as I observe the awe in
the eyes of little children. Only a loving God could have thought to put a star
in the center of an apple!
I see God in the healing of hearts torn
asunder by bitterness and despair. My friend Billy Gaither’s parents divorced
when he was ten years old. He prayed earnestly, asking God to fix his broken
When God did not answer, and his parents were
not reconciled, Billy was angry with God. He felt unloved, unwanted and
desperate. He quit praying, feeling that God did not care about him. Six years
later Billy was invited to join a youth group in church. Through other youth
and a caring pastor, Billy felt God saying to him, “Welcome back. I missed
you.” Only a loving God could restore the joy of a young man whose life had
been shattered by the divorce of his parents!
I see God in the Knock Out Rose bushes in our
yard. No matter the season they keep on blooming, offering beautiful new blooms
every five to six weeks. Only a loving God could have shown Rose Breeder Bill
Radler how to produce such an amazing rose bush!
I see God in the faces of the people with
whom I worship. As we praise God together I see people come alive with new
energy to face the challenges of everyday life. Only a loving God could turn
worship into a life-giving renewal of faith, hope and love!
Yes, I see God everywhere – in every breath I
take, in every step I take, in every morsel of food I eat, in the sun and the
moon and the stars that brighten the night sky. Only a loving God could create
such a beautiful world!
If you have trouble seeing him, please look
again. He is everywhere, waiting to startle you with the reality of his loving
Presence! + + +