I went to Five Guys recently with someone who has given up carbs, a concept I have trouble understanding. As we looked at the menu, I noticed in BIG and BOLD letters that all burgers and dogs were available bunless. So, I pointed it out. A stunned look came to his face as I pointed it out again. Despite his love of Five Guys, he had never seen this before. There it was, in plain sight, and he had totally missed it out until I pointed it out to him.
Life is like that. We often miss what is plainly in front of us. We have placed the blinders on and search only for what we are looking for instead of enjoying the intense moment of now. We are so lost in our own thoughts, our self doubts and anxieties, our checklists of to-dos that we forget to live in the moment. We can’t see things as they are. Rather, everything is colored by our experiences and our endless destructive self talk.
As it is with life, such it is with God. We want a sign from him that will help us with the weight of our day to day burdens. A sign that our own problems are worthy of his intervention. When a sign comes, in neon lights, we dismiss it because it is not the sign we want or we fail to see the benefit of what God is offering us. We dare God to give us what we think we need to prove to us that we are considered worthy of his intervention. When He doesn’t, we lose faith in God and ourselves. But God has not lost faith in us.
The Quran tells us that God is closer to us than our jugular vein. He knows when every leaf falls. Our problems, our hopes, and fears are all known to him. The signs of his generosity and love are everywhere – in nature, in the people who comfort us, in messages we receive from others at the exact moment we need them, in our pets who always seem to know when we are down. We need to embrace these, even if the wisdom is not immediately apparent. We need to accept that He has a plan for us which has yet to be revealed. But mostly, we need to bare our soul to him and release the anger, the negativity, and our everyday burdens. In those moments, God’s mercy shines through.