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Life in Unexpected Places

by on September 25, 2014

I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence” Exodus 33:19

Driving in very slow traffic along Aurora just past the bridge I had the chance to notice the grass, weeds and plant life growing out of the cracks and small joints in the cement road barriers. This seems to be the most unlikely of places for plant life to take root and thrive but it manages to do so even with all the concrete and constant traffic. Life in an unexpected place, it is there if we have the time to notice it. In our passage for this week from Exodus the Lord told Moses “I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you there with my hand” (vs. 21). It is hard to even type this without the Hymn going through my mind, “He Hideth My Soul”.

If you think of the geography of where this took place, it is good to remember it is an unlikely place for such a manifestation of the glory of God. This is not the Alps or Cascade mountains, it is the Sinai region of rough, desert, craggy, reddish bare hills that is primarily an area to transverse and survive, not to enjoy the scenery. Yet it was here that Moses was permitted to see the very presence of God, and even though he was not allowed to see God’s face, he did see his real presence in a physical dimension and he lived to tell about it. In fact it was so real that when Moses returned to the people his face was still radiating the physical presence of God (Exo. 34:29) and from then on when he went into the Lord’s presence his face shone.

While the passage we are considering contains many amazing truths about God’s mercy, grace and compassion the one that I was reminded of in reading it again was the way God shows himself throughout scripture in places where humans would least look for it; a cave in Sinai, a manger in Bethlehem, the road to Damascus, a humble prophet who raised figs and animals, a shepherd boy who was least in his family, and in your life and mine. The scriptures assure us that the very presence of God is really present in each believer as the Holy Spirit dwells in us permanently as God’s ‘down payment’ on our eternal presence with Him. That means wherever I am this day, wherever you are this day, God is present in us, the most unlikely of places, yet it is a reality that we should stop and consider as we begin each day.

 

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