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Where was God in Iceland?

I spent nine days in the incredible country of Iceland this past month. My husband and my brother had a chess tournament in Reykjavik; myself and my brother’s girlfriend joined for a holiday. After the tournament, we ventured out of the city. It was an absolute privilege to be able to explore this other-worldly country. Today, I’d like to share with you some specific moments where I felt God moving in these Icelandic explorations.

God is omnipresent; He cannot be contained. Jeremiah 23:23-24 “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. God is with us always, but sometimes we can get sucked into a routine and not recognize the Lord’s presence in our daily lives. The Lord was with me in Iceland in ways I could never know, but the following are a few times I did know:

God was at the famous church in Reykjavik, pictured above. The bells ring every 15 minutes during the day. We were staying at the bottom of a gradually inclining hill not far from this iconic church. The first several treks I made up the hill or back down, the church bells rang every time I was walking past. It felt like a little gift from God.  

God was in the references. On multiple tours, Biblical references were made casually in conversation. It’s beautiful to be able to recognize and understand these references, to have a reminder of the Lord’s influence. It forges connections among people from around the world.

God was in the creatures. My brother’s girlfriend and I booked ourselves a horseback riding tour. I had previously been on a horse one other time – with fear (the sheer size and power of these animals intimidates me). This time, I prayed for my horse and viewed it as God’s creature. A combination of this and the stark size difference compared to horses I’m familiar with in North America allowed for an amazing experience. I felt connected to my horse and had a glimpse into the symbiotic relationship between horses and humans. Beyond the horses, we saw a small group of reindeer grazing in the field as we were driving by. We saw seals at the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon swimming around, having fun, and even using an iceberg as a scratching post. Though it was off-season, we saw a small group of Puffins at the far end of the Black Sand Beach in Vik. I wanted so badly to see some during this holiday, but I didn’t think we would. What a glimpse into God’s creations!

God went before us when our rental campervan was stuck in the icy snow. Our vehicle stopped right next to another, whose driver had already called for help. We hardly waited to be pulled out of the snow and ultimately paid only half of the fee, as the Icelandic mechanic generously split the cost between the two vehicles. In the first moments we were stuck, I was anxious about what it would entail to get us out – who to call, how to call (without an Icelandic sim card), how long it would take (we were blocking the way of other vehicles), the cost, potential damage, etc. – but God already had it figured out. He is a God of details.

God was in the sky when we saw the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights are an incredible natural phenomenon and were on my bucket list for years. We were at one of the campsites for the night, inside the common area cooking dinner. My husband needed to get our plates from the campervan, and in that very moment – the sky was dancing with green light. He ran inside to get me; it wasn’t strong but it was the first time my eyes had ever seen such a wonder, not through a screen. It didn’t last long and had we not forgotten the plates, we would have missed it. The next night, we were more diligent in looking up and sure enough, the lights were bigger and brighter.

In every detail of our lives, the Lord is present. We have the opportunity to invite Him into every moment and every decision. If you have ever had a vehicle stuck in the snow, you know that it sucks. Instead of seeing that side of it, shifting my perspective to gratitude for the plan already in motion, made the situation a whole lot better. When we are looking through a lens of faith and thanksgiving, it’s amazing how the Lord’s hand becomes so vivid.

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Colossians 2:6-7 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 

Blessings,

Meagan | Love Encompassing