Life is a series of lessons God is using to teach us for us to be more like Jesus. Every day we have the opportunity to learn something new or be reminded of an old truth. Quite often we miss what he is showing us simply because we are not looking for an education. We all know of how God can use Bible reading, the study of scripture and daily quiet time to grow us. Lately, I am noticing three non-traditional ways God has been using to teach me, and he might be using the same methods in your life.
1. Exposure to a new perspective. Some days a new person is thrust into my life who views everything differently. These people come to Church, we encounter in the community, or they might show up in our reading. Their life experience and ours are not similar, and it gives them a unique perspective we have not contemplated. When these people and their views come to us, we have the choice to push them away or learn from them. Maybe that new coworker from another part of the country or the world is there to teach us something. Maybe that neighbor with a different political bent is God’s way of stretching our thinking. Is it possible that God is using a different vantage point to challenge each one of us?
2. Repeated messages. Sometimes it seems that God wants me to hear him, so he sends repeated messengers. I can’t tell you how many times I have read a book, a passage of scripture and had a conversation that all seemed to be connected. There have been times that even things as unchristian as a TV show and a movie have appeared linked to my Bible reading. I think it is worth taking note of anything that had been repeated three or more times in recent memory. It is highly likely that God is communicating, and he wants to make sure you are listening.
3. Situations I want to avoid. As an introvert, I know this is true for me. When I see a crowd of people I do not know; my natural inclination is to run and hide. I am beginning to see these situations as opportunities to push myself to be more like Jesus in unnatural ways. You might not be an introvert, and so maybe the opposite is true for you. You need to leave the crowd and spend time quietly alone in reflection. Whenever we are put in positions that are uncomfortable, perhaps those are the moments God is trying to enlarge our faith.
I know of a guy who keeps a journal every evening. His plan is simple, at the end of every day he wants to write down at least one thing that God has taught him that day. There are nights when he writes down several thoughts, but he never goes a day without noticing something. I want to suggest that every day God is not only working in your life but on it. He is putting you into situations and giving you experiences that will make you more like Jesus in every way. Perhaps you have just not taken note of them before this day.
Today is another day in which you can make it your goal to simply “get through it.” It could also be a day where you grow in your faith as God instructs you.