God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. Acts 17:27
It was the kind of day you knew God designed. The weather was perfect. That was the summer my daughter was quickly approaching the age of two. She was finding delight in the world around her and I loved to see the beauty and enjoyment of each day through her eyes. God was creating her into something special, something He had already planned before she was even born. I could see her spiritual gifts and talents already being showcased. She loved to meet people and socialize with them, interested in who they were and what they had to offer to her world. My daughter was becoming a leader, ready to allow others to follow her into the world of flower beds, toys, and sometimes mischief. She showed an early interest in the Lord; always willing to pray and sing about Him. I was a busy momma, trying to keep a watchful eye on my spunky toddler while nurturing her God given spirit.
Early that morning, my parents called and wanted us to have a small outing that included visiting a local roadside market with fresh produce, goods, and an animal farm. There were lots of smiles and laughter as we cruised along back roads. My husband and I looked on when our daughter was enthralled with the goats and chickens that her Pops and G were showing her. The farm stand offered soft drinks in the glass bottles of past-times forgotten. It was all so very wonderful, and I can remember feeling thankful to be surrounded by God’s blessings. We decided to end the afternoon at the nearest Dairy Queen with hamburgers and ice cream.
As we were seated in the cool building, my daughter suddenly points and says,” There’s Jesus!” I turned in dismay and looked upon a man with long brown hair and a tawny beard. He was dressed in white coveralls, as if maybe he was a painter or such. He was not looking at anyone, but keeping to himself. We had already ordered our food, and this man was standing alone waiting to do the same.
Amid the laughter of my family, I quickly told my little one to let Jesus eat and that she needed to do the same. The man ordered and sat quietly by himself in a corner. He seemed not to have heard my daughter’s remark.
Looking back at this event, my first thoughts were that I am so thankful for the church family, teachers and role-models in my sweet girl’s life that have encouraged the Word and image of Jesus to her. Not even at two years old and my daughter can already begin to envision the Savior and His character and truth.
Yet, I do not think that image of Jesus was just a coincidence placed into our lives that day. You see, I do not believe in coincidence, fate, or luck. I believe in God, and I believe He is just waiting and longing for us to seek and see Him. He is everywhere, in every detail, and I am blessed that He calls me His. My past mistakes, my future regrets, and my present thoughts are safe in His grace and love.
Why should Jesus at Dairy Queen be such a large stretch to believe? Whether that man was Jesus or not, His presence was surely there in my heart and in the heart of my daughter’s. As the scripture says, “…He is not far from everyone one of us” (Acts 17:27). He might even be in the booth across the diner, quietly eating a hamburger and drinking a shake. God was teaching me something important, to look for Him.
My family did not see Jesus leave DQ, in fact my daughter was the one who pointed out his absence to us. She asked, “Where did Jesus go?” I had no immediate answer for her. In the meantime, we look for Him, as He can be found even in the most unlikeliest of places.