When I was young, growing in a small Texas town, fireworks came round once a year. In our town there were no pyrotechnic displays perfectly coordinated with music but the impact of roman candles, sparklers, and poppers were no less exciting. Today, fireworks are more spectacular and more common. These days we mark major league homeruns with fireworks. Let me say, fireworks are pretty sweet. I stand with eyes wide and mouth agape just like everyone else. Fireworks do cause me to stop, look, and listen. But have we come to expect fireworks to mark every special moment? I must remember fireworks might not accompany every deeply important and life-altering event.
Tempering expectation for fireworks seems especially important in my relationship with God. Sometimes I am tempted to limit God’s action in my life to the grandiose. There is no question God does very grand things. Who can look at a beautiful sunrise, stunning sunset, or rainbow without awe? Many people do experience transformative healing and powerful conversion in the light of God’s fireworks. But Jesus cautions against demanding fireworks as proof of God’s action. The trouble is human kind so easily fall into needing fireworks in order to believe love has truly happened. ‘Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.’ John 4:48. Even though God can work in grand ways, God’s action is not always grandiose. There are many days filled with God’s love that have no fireworks at all, like a quiet morning prayer walk or the gentle spiritual conversation with a friend. God’s tender kindness wraps itself around us in every day experience.
We need the excitement of fireworks to fill us with awe. And we can be grateful for the quiet movements of love in our days. So we ask: Lord, send us fireworks to quicken our pulse and inspire our heart. And Lord let us not miss the power of Your love in the every day.