Two weeks ago I was driving north on highway 53 near Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and I knew God's Presence was with me.
I was driving to northern Minnesota to direct and teach a week of leadership training for high school students. It is one of my favorite weeks of the summer. I was spending my windshield time in worship and prayer. Lately I have been loving Steffany Gretzinger of Bethel Music. So good!! I was listening to one of her albums, drinking good coffee, and praying for our week. I was praying for our students and how God would meet them at training. I was praying for my family and friends back home and for the challenges and joys I knew they were facing. There was a weight of peace and glory in that car. I looked left and a bald eagle was flying low to the ground, parallel to me over the median. He was only there five or six seconds, but I think I stopped breathing for those seconds. It was God's Presence. Maybe that sounds weird to you or maybe that makes perfect sense to you. All I know is it was God.
I have had many moments like that over the years of walking with the Lord. They have been much more frequent in the last year as I have opened my hands, my heart, my life to His Love. Often they are moments during worship or when I am praying or reading scripture outside. But they have also happened recently in line at a restaurant and in a forest preserve parking lot.
God is real. He shows up.
His Presence is with His people.
Where do you experience God? In a Sanctuary? In creation? In the love of other people? A smile? The embrace of a friend? In God's Word?
Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Revelation 21:3 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
1 John 4:16 “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
If God says that He will give us rest in His presence He will. If He promises to be there among the body of Christ, He will. If we abide in love, He abides in us, knowing that He goes wherever we go. In this knowledge, you will find joy in His presence and look toward being in His literal presence someday taking comfort in knowing all these things.
How do you experience God's Presence? Could you benefit from a helper in learning to seek Him? Practicing some spiritual disciplines can help us draw closer to God and His Presence. It can allow us to get out of our own way. Contact me for support on the journey! We'll do it together!