by: Staci Stallings
Sometimes a little distance from an event can give you great clarity on just how God works in this world. I’ve found that when He’s working in my life and His work is really visible, it’s hard to pull apart all He’s doing because I’m in the middle of it. It’s kind of like how on http://www.MapQuest.com, you can pull way out and see most of the world. Then you keep hitting + and you get closer and closer in to the map until you can see all the street names. The problem is sometimes the actual area doesn’t really look like it does on the map.
Okay, so there’s a curve there, but you weren’t expecting trees or that hill that obscure your view, nor were you picturing that there would be no sign to the turn you’re supposed to take.
It’s the same way when you’re in the middle of a situation. You are bombarded with things so close and coming at you so quickly that really, you’re just living, not analyzing. When, however, you have a bit of distance from a situation, you can often marvel at how God works.
For example, I’ve recently connected with a writer’s group that is going gang-busters. We help each other out in the rough and tumble world of social networking. The neatest thing is getting to watch God work–through them, with them, in them, and with each other. Three times now we have had a book/author who for one reason or another starts climbing the charts. That’s the cue to go from passive help to active help–getting the word out to as many people as we can as quickly as possible.
But the thing I’ve marveled at the most is simply watching God at work.
I have so enjoyed seeing Him work in how the other authors rally together, in how creative they can be in coming up with ways to help, and in the encouragement they give to one another. I have also enjoyed watching the astonishment of the authors that others rally around. They are often quite literally floored that others would be so generous with their time, talents, and resources to help them out even though they will not see a nickel for their efforts.
In fact, it’s almost a glimpse, I think of what Heaven will be like. Doing things out of love only, not for the gain that will come to us if we do. Helping out of our fullness not out of our need. That’s so cool.
I love watching God in each of them too. They are helpful, yes. But they are fun and joyful. They know how to lift each other up–through prayer, yes–but also through just being wonderful to each other. I love watching that example played out over and over again.
The other night, one member posted something about NOT checking sales numbers on Sunday. (You can get obsessed with checking. Well, another member happened to see that post and hadn’t checked in awhile so she went and checked. Come to find out her book was rapidly climbing the charts that minute! (And she never would have thought to check without the first post!)
She came on and was all excited about her book selling so well. Instantly about six of us jumped on the band wagon and started tweeting and Facebooking about her book, and sure enough it climbed nearly 4,000 more spots! Now on her own, even if she saw the climb, she couldn’t have done much. A few tweets, a Facebook Message. But with all of us right there, ready to help, many more people now have a great book about God’s love for them.
This is not a perfect system, nor is it science. We do what we can, following and doing what God leads us to do when He tells us to. But it is one of the honors of my life just to get to watch Him work through this group. He really is an AWESOME God!