By Debbie Dodd

Do you see the gracious hand of God in your life?

I’m immersing myself in the book of Ezra/Nehemiah this semester and that phrase is scattered throughout. Ezra notices the “gracious hand of God” in very ordinary life events.  It doesn’t take a burning bush, parting of the sea, or miraculous multiplying of bread for him to see God’s fingerprints.

Instead, he can see God’s hand in…

  • a government letter (of all places!) encouraging them to build the Temple and learn God’s truth
  • a safe journey travelling with about 5000 people and millions of dollars without a police escort
  • personal courage
  • believers willing to stand up and lead

There is absolutely nothing in the book that would be considered supernatural or a miracle.  Yet Ezra had the ability to see God working behind scenes in very ordinary ways.  Without the eyes of faith, most people would miss the fingerprints. What enabled Ezra to look at the “ordinary” and see the extra-ordinary?

This ability to see God’s invisible power is tied to the key verse which describes Ezra’s life-orientation.

Ezra 7:10 says,

“For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Torah of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.” 

The word “devoted” tells us what direction his life was headed in. He had deliberately positioned his entire being in one bearing. His heart tilted that way. If you sneaked a look at his calendar, it would be dominated by times to study, meditate, and soak in the Torah. If you looked at his credit card bills, they would reflect living God’s truth. If you read his Facebook page, his daily posts would be his teaching on the Word of God.  If you asked his children what he was like, they would say, “Daddy loves God’s Word.  And because of that, he is a great daddy, and he always teaches us what the Bible says.”

I believe it was because he had set his heart on God’s Word that gave Ezra the ability to see the supernatural behind the ordinary. He was able to pick up on the almost imperceptible clues in his ordinary life. His heart was immersed in God’s heart expressed in His Word from which he lived and taught. And that impacted his ability to see the unseen gracious hand of God in ordinary life.

Realistically most of our lives are very ordinary. Most of us are never going to see miraculous fire from heaven or our loved one raised from the dead. But do we have eyes to see God’s very real gracious hand at work in our lives in powerful ways? And is our life-orientation directed at God’s Word that will change the way we see the world? I am challenged to evaluate what my heart is devoted to, and therefore, how well I can see the invisible.

 

Discussion Questions and Social Media Challenge: 

On your social media or in the comments answer these questions…

  • How is God’s very real gracious hand at work in your lives in powerful ways?
  • How are you letting God change the way you see the world?

Social Media Challenge…

This week, share what you are learning from your Bible Studies, morning devotions, or church on your Facebook or other social media platform, and end it with a non-yes or no question to encourage engagement between you and your friends.

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Header image by Bohdan Chreptak from Pixabay 

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