We can all learn an important lesson from the transfiguration story in the Gospels. Two heavenly figures, Moses and Elijah, appeared to Peter, James and John with the transfigured Jesus on Mount Tabor. This mysterious event shook up these disciples. In their fearful state, they saw Jesus in a new light. Their lives would never be the same.
This was a mountain experience for the three apostles. Yet they had to come down the mountain and face the valley experiences and deal with the pending death of Jesus.
We can describe mountain experiences as those times when God or a heavenly person breaks into our lives in a special way. We feel that God is really with us, helping us out in a special way, giving us extra strength to overcome some difficulty in life. When we have these experiences, (I am sure that many of you have had them), we thank God for this special gift.
Nevertheless, we should not look for those types of experiences. When we look for God just in the mountain experiences, we can miss God in everyday life. Author Sue Bender writes: “When I stopped waiting for something ‘significant’ to happen, and instead began noticing what was happening, not what I wished was happening, a series of small miracles occurred.”
What Sue is saying is, if we seek the mountain experiences, we miss God coming to us in the everyday events of life. God is constantly breaking into our lives in many small ways. If we are only looking for the big bang, we can miss God in the little events of life.
St. John of the Cross, the Doctor of spiritual maturity, stresses that our faith is founded on Jesus Christ. Through Christ, God the Father has spoken to us once and for all. We need no props, supports or spiritual consolations. As to visions, apparitions and the like, he says that such phenomena are to be ignored and not sought after.
In his famous book entitled “The Dark Night of the Soul,” St. John makes the point that God is with us although it may seem that God has forsaken us. The consolations or the feelings of God’s presence are great if they come, but that is not faith, that is experience. Faith means walking with complete confidence in God when there are no consolations.
Someone sent me examples of how God comes to us in the simple things of life. It’s called, “That’s God.” Have you ever felt the desire to do something special for someone? That’s God speaking to you. Have you ever felt the sadness and the loneliness of someone who encounters you? That’s God who has chosen you to be an instrument of consolation.
Have you ever thought of someone very dear to you that you have not seen for a long time, and suddenly that person unexpectedly appears? That’s God for nothing that happens by chance. Have you ever received something marvelous for which you did not ask? That’s God who knows all the secrets that you keep well hidden in your heart.
Have you ever found yourself in a difficult situation for which there may be no apparent solution, and then suddenly the answer became clear? That’s God who unceasingly takes our problems and helps us solve them. Have you ever felt an immense sadness and then your inner self was infused with love and an inexplicable sense of peace enveloped your entire being? That’s God who consoles us in his arms and gives us peace.
Have you ever felt weary of life, and suddenly you found the courage and the resolve to continue your journey full of hope and vigor? That’s God who is always there beside you, lovingly accompanying your every step of the way in your life’s journey.
Look for God in the simple things of life because we walk by faith, not by sight.