Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3: 1-4
One night, after I had gotten the kids down, and was collapsing into bed myself, I found just enough energy to do a little reading in my Bible. I honestly don’t remember the passage that I most likely turned to randomly, but it was followed by a humorous fleeting thought. I wonder what God and Jesus look like? I mean, I don’t think that every musing about God and Jesus in heaven is accurate, but it brings me joy to think about what it will be like to meet them one day. I giggled so much writing this blog. I hope you will “go there” with me and come up with your own images as well!
I know many have wondered this at some point in time, but I really allowed myself to ponder it. I thought of how I have often heard and read we are made in the image of God (see Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 9:6; James 3:9), but what do they REALLY look like? Instantly I pictured long flowing blaringly white robes that shine so brightly that one would have to shield their eyes even to get a glimpse. Then I wondered, “what if Jesus and God have updated their wardrobe?” you know to stay current with the times. I pictured Jesus in more modern clothes consisting of a pair of khaki cargo shorts, Chaco sandals, and a blazing white t-shirt.
Now, the image I pictured for God was more like my grandfather!…again, a blazingly white t-shirt, pleated jean shorts that meet the tucked in shirt about half way up the belly, solid black orthotic shoes with white mid-calf height tube socks…and the best part…a Fanny Pack!!
Y’all, I started rolling with laughter, out loud, at this visual! I can honestly say that in that moment, it felt like God was right there in the room laughing with me. It was a beautiful, joyful moment that I so desperately needed in the midst of my struggles with anxiety in recent months. Finally, laughter! Finally pure joy! It was my God hug! But I digress….
This little fleeting thought has encouraged a lot of additional pondering since then though…what would God have in His Fanny Pack?
I’m sure that those things one would normally think of are in there, like love, peace, hope, faith, forgiveness, etc. All the spiritual emotions one could need. But what else could be in that handy dandy fanny pack?
I know without any doubt in my personal heart that God’s fanny pack is chocked full of signs he uses to communicate with us…be it a butterfly that passes by at the perfect moment to let you know things are going to be okay, or a sailboat that was asked for as reassurance that current suffering will not last forever, or a sweet whisper from a child’s lips that “I’ll never leave you,” in a very dark moment that was immediately followed by “Now let’s go play.” Maybe it’s even a Dodge Charger to encourage you to move forward with buying a house (you know who you are and I love you dearly for introducing me to asking for signs, because I have seen it at work in my life too!). Maybe it’s the most beautiful sunset imaginable that just refreshes your soul to the core, as something that beautiful could ONLY come from God! I truly believe God communicates with us through signs when we ask through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
*Note: I am NOT saying that if you ask God for a million dollars to show you that He loves you and when it doesn’t happen, then correspondingly He doesn’t love you. What I AM saying, is rely on the Holy Spirit to show you what to ask for and then when you receive it, you will know it’s God’s way of answering. Remember though, He’s going to show it His perfect timing and in His perfect way. It likely won’t be how our earthly selves anticipate it.
Personally, I’m a “seeing is believing” kind of girl, so visual signs are how God typically communicates with me. But, I believe there are other forms that He uses as well (i.e. auditory, spiritual movement)…such as the most appropriate song on the radio at just the moment you need it, or an encourage word from someone, or that faint tugging within that can only be God reaching out.
I think God’s Fanny Pack probably also includes the objects or blessings that we overlook the most! They may be everyday ordinary objects, like a cell phone to call someone when your car breaks down. Or even a car to get from point A to point B. For David, his everyday object was a sling shot and some rocks that took down Goliath. For Moses it was a staff to part the Red Sea that lead to the Israelites escaping Egyptian rule. Simple loaves of bread and two little ol’ fish were ordained by God to feed the masses by Jesus’ hands. For Jesus, it was a cross that lead to His death, but also lead to our forgiveness and salvation to eternal life. All of these objects were anointed by God to be in the right place at the right time to serve His purpose.
I think His Fanny Pack would also include His Body, the Body of Christ. God gives us our fellow believers, some of whom have gone through exactly what we are going through in that moment, and are able to help us through the trials of life. For me it has been a loving and supportive husband who holds me and comforts me, and yes, in rare occasions, might cry with me through my darkest moments. It’s a mother who reminds me that I can do this and that she is so proud of me. A work mate, who is willing to be that shoulder I cry on and say “What if this happens?” to which she tough-love responds “What if it doesn’t?” and thereby bringing me back to God’s reality. It has been the most loving and beautiful neighbor who has seen me at my absolute worst and still loves me and is willing to help guide me through the forest when the trees get in the way. It has been the friends I allow myself to be vulnerable to whom reach out and let me know they are thinking of me or praying for me.
Do not be discouraged if your sign or person doesn’t come when and how you expect…it doesn’t mean it’s not in God’s Fanny Pack, but rather that He closed His Fanny Pack so that He could use both hands to give you a hug! He has promised to never forsake or leave you, so open your arms and grab hold of your hug (just watch out for the fanny pack)!
Question: If you could ask for something out of God’s fanny pack, what would it be? For me it would be new eyes to see myself as God sees me…comment below what it would be for you!