There’s this coffee shop right across the street from my dorm room, and I can see it from my window. When I wake up early and it’s still dark outside, I have this new habit where after crawling out of my cozy bed, I’ll go look out my window to see some cars moving or just any signs of life to show myself that other people are also up and at it. I always feel a little better about waking up early when I see that the coffee shop across the street has its neon signs lit up because I know for sure if they can get up at the hour they do, I can, too. On a Wednesday morning a couple weeks ago, my goal was to be up early enough to see the coffee shop turn their neon “open” and “espresso” signs on…and I actually got to watch it happen! It was funny because I literally ran over to my window when I saw that my watch face read 7:00, which is right when they open. I looked out my window, but I was surprised to see that the signs were not on. I actually stood there for a moment and started thinking that maybe they forgot…? But the funny thing is, I looked out my window multiple times that week to see if they were open, and the bright, red “open” sign and lime green “espresso” sign were lighting up the pitch black morning every day. Their signs always prove that they are, in fact, there. Open. Ready for business. Employees are inside that cozy little shop, working, and already they’ve started the day when I’m still in my pajamas, opening my eyes in my dorm room.
Every day before this, the lights have been on. So why would I doubt them or think that they forgot to turn them on the one day I happened to look out the window? In that same minute as I was standing at my window, waiting, wondering, I noticed some movement from inside. Sure enough, seconds later, someone flipped on the lights, before it was even 7:01 AM.
I smiled and I don’t know why, but my brain suddenly wandered toward thinking about how that is a lot like life sometimes. Without even truly seeing or noticing, we see the goodness, kindness, grace, and love of God every single morning. In every sunrise, every breath we take in, and every time we open our eyes to welcome the day. But maybe one day, we need to actually look for Him. We’re sick, down and out, feeling defeated, anxious or overwhelmed, scared, or life gets hard. And on these days, we look around and wonder,
“God, are you there?”
I know that at least for me, when things are hard and I’m hurting, I don’t always feel like God is there. I don’t feel Him working on my behalf or fighting my battles. And in really tough seasons of life, I often can’t see Him at all. It’s difficult to trust that someone’s there when you can’t see them.
But the truth is, they’ve probably already been awake and working for hours before you even thought about getting a coffee. God has been at work for so much longer than we’ve even thought about. I doubted the coffee shop workers the one time I looked and didn’t see evidence of them there, but they have been consistently opening their doors and turning on their lights at 7 AM for years before I even knew they existed in this college town.
I feel like God wants to remind me and you that He has been awake and working each day before this one. You can trust His track record. He will be awake and working every moment, even and especially in the moments that we are not. He will turn on the light for you; just be patient and remember that He has been doing this for a lot longer than we have. And He will always be right on time with turning the light on. You may not be able to see it when you first look for
So if you’re standing at the window right now, waiting, and beginning to wonder if He forgot, I want you to hold on to this for a minute:
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”Hebrews 11:1 NIV
Thanks to Liquid Planet for always turning that sign on at 7 AM and for having the coolest latte art. 💛