Seeing God in the City

Perhaps you live in New York City like me, or perhaps you live in another city elsewhere in the world. In fact, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, and this number is increasing.

This fact introduces many lines of discussion; I will raise only one of them, that city living diminishes revelation. What revelation, you say? Natural revelation.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament [sky above] shows His handiwork (Psa. 19:1).

This psalm reminds us that God reveals His power, glory and existence to observant people. How? Through the incredible display of the stars, sun, moon, clouds and whatever else you see in the sky above that He made. Paul reaffirms this reality.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse (Rom. 1:20).

The natural world – the stars, sun, moon, sky, trees, mountains, rivers, animals, birds, etc. – advertises God, the Creator of all things good. But in the city, we don’t see these things easily, as easily as we might in a rural setting. If you live in the city, how many stars have you seen at night lately?

What do we see in the city? Well, that’s a loaded question I know. But here’s the answer on my mind at the moment. We see engineered buildings, paved sidewalks and streets, manufactured automobiles and bicycles, public transportation systems, technology and all sorts of material things. Here is my point: we see all sorts of things that man has made, and a lot less of the things that God has made directly.

I recently shared the gospel with a young man in a Jackson Heights neighborhood. He argued vigorously (not logically) against the existence of God. He said, “Show me one thing that God has done, one thing!” I looked up at the sky, but only saw smog and clouds in the thin slice of sky not blocked by the buildings around me. I looked around and saw nothing but tightly packed shops and apartments, paved sidewalks and streets, metal sewer grates  and lots of traffic. No trees. No flowers. No animals. No mountains. No rivers and streams. No stars. No sun. No moon. No so many things that prove the existence of God.

If you live in the city, like me, look carefully for God. Look up at the sky whenever you can. Appreciate the trees and the flowers that you can see in the city. Praise Him for the evidences of His power and deity that you find. He may not be as evident as in a rural places, but He is evident nonetheless.

To see God in the city, you have to look for Him. And that’s a good thing.

2 replies
  1. Israel Rosario
    Israel Rosario says:

    Hello Pastor Overmiller. I enjoyed the post on seeing God around us. Growing up in Queens New York I could still see The Things The LORD has made, although at that time I was not born again. Now as a transplant to Allentown PA I CAN truly appreciate Gods creation all around me in the streams, mountain, dear, fox, hawk, to name a few. Even more so as a born again Christian! Thank You Pastor Overmiller for the blogs and links you put out, what a blessing! Hope to come and visit soon.
    Brother Israel Rosario.
    Ephesians 3:20.

  2. TOvermiller
    TOvermiller says:

    Amen, Israel. I was born in York, PA and have made frequent trips to visit relatives there over the years. In fact, I spent a week with my family in the mountains near Raystown Lake this past autumn. In places like that, the visible things of God are clearly seen for sure. I’ll look forward to seeing you in the city sometime!

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