I’m just going to say it: I’m not all that keen on reading Leviticus in the Bible.
I mean, really. Leviticus computes about as well with me as calculus. Which isn’t well.
In fact, true story: I took pre-calc my junior year of high school. At the end of the year, my teacher—frankly, one of the best teachers I ever had even if I never latched on to the subject—pulled me aside and said, “Melissa, I’d suggest not taking calculus next year.”
Also true: I didn’t.
But Leviticus. I’ve been reading it lately—more out of stubbornness than anything else, I guess. So I’m trucking along in Leviticus 9 the other day and the priests, Aaron and his sons, are beginning their ministry. God gives them some very specific instructions for burnt offerings. We’re talking, “Do this with that organ and wave these pieces in the air” etc.
And all I can think is, “How many more chapters in this book?” and “I think I’ll skip meat today.”
But then…then I get to the end of chapter 9 and read this:
“…and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and fat portions on the altar. And when the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.” (vs.23b-24)
I stopped. Reread the verses. And it struck me:
God showed up.
I mean, he really showed up. Enough that people were whooping and falling over.
And I started thinking about times God has shown up—sometimes in big and surprising ways—in my own life. He’s always there, always working, yes. But how easy is it to hit “going through the motions” mode and just not see Him?
Sorta like reading through Leviticus and missing those moments when God reaches down and makes Himself known.
Recently I considered buying a house. I was pretty excited about it—found a sweet townhouse in a great location for a great price. All the pieces started falling into place in pretty spectacular ways, and I was convinced I should go for it. I made an offer. And after just a few hours of counter-offering, settled on the price I’d hoped for all along.
But all through the process, I kept praying that if there was some reason I shouldn’t move forward, that God would send me a red flag. Like…a blaring, can’t-miss-this flag.
Well, the red flag came. It was an issue on the seller’s end. They had to back out.
I was disappointed, yes.
And yet…even today, weeks later, I’m still sorta excited about the way God showed up in that process. So clearly, so specifically, so undeniably. He’s good and faithful like that.
And it’s an experience I want to remember in different seasons—in the times when I may not be hearing so clearly or am caught up in the busyness of every day life. Perhaps similar to how the Israelites may have gotten in Leviticus, consumed with rules and instructions and surviving.
I want to remember that eventually, one way or another, God IS going to show up. I may not see what He’s doing now and I’m certainly not always going to understand why He has me on this or that path.
But He’s there. And He’s never inactive. And if I keep my eyes open, just like the Israelites did, I’ll see His presence at work…and experience the joy that comes along with it.
When has God shown up in your life in a surprising and undeniable way? And tell me, am I the only one who has to grit her teeth to get through Leviticus? 🙂
Melissa Tagg is a former reporter turned romantic comedy author. Her debut novel, Made to Last, releases from Bethany House in September 2013. In addition to her nonprofit day job, she’s also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy. Connect with Melissa at www.melissatagg.com and on Facebook and Twitter(@Melissa_Tagg).