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Watch for God to show up

A deer reminds Elizabeth of God

After seeing a deer in her backyard and watching it for five minutes or so, Pastor Elizabeth Hurd found herself thinking about the ways that God breaks into our lives.


Pastor, Caledonia UMC

[What follows is a transcript of the video devotion.]

So I thought I would start a little differently today. I don’t know if you all can tell, but over on the left side of the video, farther back near the tree line, there is a deer that is currently eating its dinner in the backyard of my parsonage. And this has been something that has consumed the past five to ten minutes of my time, just watching this deer as it’s walking around the backyard, picking up leaves and grass, and finding food for itself. And I will also apologize if you hear my dog, Lucy, bark or whine because this deer has consumed her entire attention too. 

I had a different devotion planned for today, a different direction I wanted to go in, a different theme to explore. But as I set up to film, I glanced out my window and saw this deer, and I just let go of all of that. I could put that on the back burner for another day because I was being asked to sit in this moment of quiet and joy. Though it wasn’t really quiet, because my dog was so excited we had a visitor in the backyard and was just barking away, it was a soul quieting moment, where I just felt so peaceful.

YouTube video


Watching this deer forage for food just gave me peace. And the joy was added onto as the clouds parted, and the grey day parted, and I saw the first glimpse of blue sky that I had seen all day. It’s been very rainy here in Caledonia [on October 24th]. But it was just a beautiful, awe-inspiring, God moment that nourished my spirit and my soul.

And what I was really reminded of was the fact that you know, even in the middle of everything that is going on– in the middle of the unknown future this pandemic holds, the middle of the stress of our political season, the middle of all of the uncertainty we are wading in, this middle that can feel grey and dark and dreary—there are moments where the clouds part because God breaks in. We can see the blue sky. We can watch the deer in our backyard.

You know, when I was watching the deer, I was reminded of the question my mentor in my contextual education site in Winchester, MA (the Rev. Dr. Hope Luckie at Crawford Memorial UMC) used to ask at the beginning of every single worship service.

That is, “Where have you seen or experienced God in your life this week?”

And if I were back in Winchester right now, and I was joining them for worship, and she was there leading worship, and she had asked that question, this moment with the deer would 100% be what I would respond with.

I loved that question because it reminded me, every single week, that God shows up. In big ways and in small ways, God shows up. And we will only notice when God shows up when we sit back and look around. And so what I encourage you to do this week is to find the moments where God is showing up in your life.

In what ways, big and small, is God revealing Godself to you? Is it going to be just watching nature? Is it going to be in interaction with friends or family? Is it going to be in reading a passage of scripture in a new way? Is it going to be in cooking a new recipe that goes well and you enjoy it?

However God shows up, I encourage you to sit in that moment and bask in the joy and the peace of that moment.


~ This devotional is reprinted with permission from Extraordinary Connection, daily devotions and reflections provided by a collaboration of clergy in The Michigan Conference.

Last Updated on November 3, 2020

The Michigan Conference