In perhaps one of the most amazing visions of the Bible, and also one of the most trippy, in Ezekiel chapter one the prophet Ezekiel sees God in Babylon. Among everything Ezekiel sees, he sees God riding on some pretty spiffy wheels with legit rims. He says the wheels:
“appearance was like the gleaming of beryl…their construction being something like a wheel within a wheel. When they moved, they moved in any of the four directions without veering as they moved. Their rims were tall and awesome, for the rims of all four were full of eyes all around” (Ezekiel 1:16-18 NRSV).
Where can I get some wheels for my minivan like that!?
The most amazing and groundbreaking thing about this vision is that it meant God had left the temple in Jerusalem. The people were struggling in exile because they were no longer near the temple, and therefore no longer near to God…or so they thought. Here, Ezekiel sees God coming out to them in exile. God joins them in exile. God doesn’t stay in Jerusalem, comfortable in the temple. God doesn’t wait for them to return to God, God comes to them.
God isn’t waiting somewhere else for us to find Him or waiting for us to get to a “good place.” God comes to us. This is always the movement of God in Scripture. God came to Adam and Eve after they ate from the forbidden tree, God came to Cain after he killed Abel, the Son came to earth and became a man, and in the end Revelation 21 tells us Gods final dwelling place is among us.
The question is, and always has been, do we have the eyes to see? Ezekiel saw what no one else had, what the people probably thought would never happen, and told them about it. Where do you see God moving today?
It may be difficult to see God moving in your life today. But Ezekiel invites us to see what the world says is impossible. Maybe you can see God present through a spouse or child. Maybe in a neighbor or friend. Maybe it’s in an unexpected blessing or comfort. Perhaps it’s in a small sense of peace when you get bad news. God can show up and does show up anywhere, at anytime.
Whatever we are facing, whether it be COVID-19 and shelter in place, a relationship or financial crisis, a crisis of faith, the loss of a loved one, a health issue, or anything else under the son, God has wheels. And God isn’t afraid to show them off.
The question is, and has always been, are we looking?