Pandemic Ponderings – The God Hunt Challenge

 Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Philippians 4:8

As the Coronavirus continues to play out in our world, I find myself reacting in a variety of ways, the most recent reoccurring one being restlessness. It’s a similar feeling to what I used to grapple with towards the end of my pregnancies when I was very uncomfortable and just ready to be done with it! Or when we were in the middle of our kitchen remodel, with things “torn up,” and having to step around it all and patiently accommodate the mess and inconvenience.

And so it is right now, isn’t ladies! Inconveniences, annoyances, hindrances … all kinds of “ances” that indeed leave us feeling “antsy” and restless, yearning for normal. Even harder is the certainty that things will continue to be uncertain for some time. We really don’t know when this will all end and how much longer we will be in our present state. Obviously, this is a time and an opportunity to build patience and perseverance!

So how do we stay encouraged while building our “patience muscle?” I’d like to share one way based on an idea from our friend Kelly Danilson, who is an area director of “The Man in the Mirror.”

Kelly writes, “During a recent time of disappointments and sadness, I was challenged by a fellow area director to go on a God Hunt. To review each day, look for God, and have a Philippians 4:8 mindset.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is just, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

This challenge was timely and exactly what my family and I needed. There are so many good and praiseworthy things going on right now. I have had “virtual coffee” with men that I haven’t talked to in years. Ministry appointments continue over Zoom … This list could go on and on. It would be amazing if we all would come out of this season more grateful than when it started. Will you take this God Hunt challenge with me?”

The God Hunt challenge … Isn’t it interesting that James starts his book with these words: “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds…”  Joy in trials??? I wonder if this simple practice of doing a God Hunt each day isn’t a great practical way to promote gratefulness and joy in the midst of our trials.

As I think about my past week, I am thankful for little praiseworthy things that have brought me joy- recording Noah’s Ark videos with puppet Scout, Zooming with friends and family, waking up healthy, reconnecting with neighbors (appropriately distanced!) reflecting on God’s provision for our kids during this downtime of employment, enjoying a bowl of popcorn while watching a favorite movie, pondering treasures in God’s Word, connecting with friends more deeply through difficult conversations … As I type, I am noticing more joy and less restlessness!

God has been there in the past week, and God will be there in all of my days working, providing, blessing. Will I notice Him in all the praiseworthy things big and small and give thanks?  Will you join me with the God Hunt challenge, ladies?? Pass it on!!!