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Tangible Moments With God

Sometimes “devotional” time is hard for me. I long for the concrete. I want to relate to God like I relate to friends. Even though I’m not a huggy kind of person with friends, I want to hug God. I want to curl up in his lap and chat with him.

But I can’t do any of that. God is very, very real, but he’s also intangible. I can talk to him, but I can’t look into his eyes while I do. I can listen, but he doesn’t usually speak as clearly as a friend. Sometimes I think I hear him, but I’m not even sure if it’s him, or my deceptive heart. I can curl up, but it will be on my couch…not on his lap.

That’s why I try to create tangible projects based on my time with God.

>> Related: how I learned to hear Jesus' voice

I may not be able to reach out and touch him, but I do have a physical representation that reminds me of how he’s speaking into my life through his Word.

In college, there was a place I would go with my deepest prayers written on a piece of paper. There was a cross in this place, and I would drop my prayers there at the foot of the cross. After college, a pond became a symbol of redemption for me, and I’d write my prayers on rocks and toss them into the pond. When I didn’t have either of those options, I covered a cardboard box so I couldn’t open it back up, cut a slit in the top, and put my prayers in there. All of these places reminded me that I was giving these things over to God. I couldn’t get those prayers back, so I couldn’t hold on to my worries and fears.

I’m not a super artsy person. I can’t paint beautiful pictures or play the piano. (Or sing…or play any instrument…) But I do enjoy simple crafts, so I’ve found ways to introduce that into my time with God.

Like when I read Psalm 139 and realized it had a lot to say about how God sees me. I wanted to see myself that way, too. So I got a small hand mirror and wrote, “I am…” on it. Then I filled it in with insights from Psalm 139.

Ali's simple mirror devotion

I am seen.

I am understood.

I am heard.

I am never alone.

I am wonderfully made.

Now, when I look in that mirror, I see these phrases over my face. Words that remind me of the way God sees me. And it changes the way I see him.

Sometimes I pick out one word—just one—that stands out to me from my Bible reading. I write the word and decorate it as pretty as I can, with my limited art skills. Then all day, that’s my word to focus on. Stressful meeting? Grace. Looming deadline? Grace. Total rewrite of a lesson I loved? Grace. Hurtful words spoken to me? Grace. Want to speak hurtful words to someone else? Grace, grace, grace.

Even though that’s not totally tangible (other than my illustration of the word), it gives me a framework to remember God in my day.

It helps me pause and remember that he’s there with me, even though I can’t see him.

If I were more musically inclined (and I really wish I was), I’d like to write my own tunes to Psalms when I read them. But really, it doesn’t matter whether I’m musical or not. This is just between me and God, and it’s all a joyful noise to him.

Sometimes I hang a Bible verse at my desk at work. If I leave it there too long, it fades into the background and I overlook it. So I try to replace it when another verse catches my eye.

Once I took a shower with clothes on. All black clothes, as I reflected on a passage about God cleaning away my sin. It was a time of powerful confession and tears as I stood there in sopping wet, dark clothes, and thought about the sopping wet sin staining my own life. When I was done, I changed into all white clothes and thanked God for his forgiveness.

I’ve used little dollhouse figures and a tiny shelf to make a miniature Psalm 23. I’ve made a heart out of playdough, with a rock inside to remind me not to have a hard heart underneath my shell of Christianity.

I could go on. God is constantly giving me new ideas of how to experience him in physical ways. And each time he does, I have a new way to see God concretely.

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Showing 9 comments
  • Sue

    Beautiful. Thank you

    • Karen

      I LOVED THIS! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas. God has blessed you with some very unique ideas and I would like to try some as well

  • Campbell Dotsi

    Powerful message and awesome thoughts and ideas.
    God Bless you and keep you in the hollow of His hand.

  • Jeannine Findley

    Thank you for this I deal with not spending enough time with God, this is so good for me!!!!! When I used to teach ladies bible classes and I studied more God would give me a word don’t know how and one word would last for a long time sometimes over a year I guess God wanted me to work on it, I’m sad now I can’t remember them. The one the first one the only one I remember is trust, Thank you for new beginings. God bless you

  • Monica

    this is awesome

    • Camila

      I love this. I do similar stuff like craft and writing down bible verses.

  • Shelly cannon

    That was such an awesome. Reminder that
    God has made us so wonderfully and how he
    Sees us instead of the lie the enemy can
    Throw up in our thinking and firbthe renewal of our mind so we do t get so caught up in
    This game of feeing unworthy.

  • Veronica

    Thank you fue sharing such precious moments and ideas.

  • Christine M Johnson

    This was great to read. I, too, need reminders of what I read when I read it and I, too, am not musically inclined or very creative. But I think like you said, it is the little things and it is between you and God. So whatever it is that you (I) can do, within my limits, to show God that I not only hear Him but want to do my best to remember, reflect and put into practice what HE has said to or shown me, I thinkk is WONDERFUL and I pray that He is pleased. Thank you!

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