There have been many times throughout my life when God was near, when I experienced His very presence.
Some of those times have been big events where God miraculously healed people, or times when life circumstances had brought me into a terrible event but I could feel God's presence and the knowledge that I was not alone, or moments when we were singing together during church and it was as if the palpable presence of God was with us. But many of the times when God was near were in the ordinary, in daily life, when nothing super exciting was going on, when I was just seeking His presence and He chose to bless me; like on this ordinary day....
Warmth, comfort, I don't want to move an inch-wait, what's that sound? Ugh-it's the alarm clock! I so do not like to get up in the morning. Why don't I just go ahead and hit the snooze button, the clock says too early anyway.
Oh gee, now I can't sleep. Plus I'm remembering why I set the clock a bit early. I wanted to give myself some extra time 'cuz it's been awful lately at work. Geeze, just thinking about all the pressure and all the misunderstandings makes me feel sick to my stomach, makes me want to get right back into this bed.
Oh God, I need You, I can't make it without You.
OK, maybe I'll feel better if I just drag myself into a hot shower.
Yep, nothing like the hot water of a shower to make me feel more awake and alive. That combined with the caffeine in a diet coke with lots of slices of limes in it - it just doesn't get much better than that. As I go out the kitchen door onto our deck, I find myself thinking about how I love this house, love our back deck so secluded and up among the trees. I'm grateful that I can come out here and be alone. Take this time here with my Bible, reading glasses, and God - I need this time, I'm desperate for it.
I feel depleted, like I've got nothing to offer. But God has sure blessed me. I begin thanking Him. Thanking Him for my health, my beautiful home in the mountains, my husband who loves me, my healthy sons, and even though my job is wretched right now I thank Him that I have a job and that all our financial needs are met, we've never gone without our needs being met. Most of all I thank Him for the forgiveness that is mine through Jesus.
Thinking about Jesus and all He's done for me just makes me start to sing. Song after song of praise pours from my lips. I'm grateful that it's no one but God and me out here because I know I'm most likely off key; I'm grateful that it doesn't matter.
After awhile I am silent. Silent before God. Aware of His greatness. Aware of His presence. A deep peace permeates my being. I feel like I do after a long winter, when it first starts getting warm and I get to go outside and sit in the sun, all I want to do is sit there drinking in its warmth. That's how it is right now, all I want is to bask in the presence of God...
Sometimes during my morning times with God it's like this, His presence warms me like hot water in the bathtub and I just can't get enough. Other times, if I'm honest, I don't feel anything.
Years ago I would have told you that if I feel His presence or not, I have a daily time with Him out of obedience. Today it's not like that. Today I tell you that I spend that time daily in thanksgiving, praise, prayer, silence and reading the Bible and reflecting - not because I'm devout or obedient - but because I'm needy. Because I'm desperate for God. When I was 17 years old, I thought I knew so much. But in the more than 3 decades since then, I've watched myself fail, I've learned enough to know how much I don't know, I've experienced the grace and mercy of God repeatedly, and I've come to know that I'm nothing without God. I spend time in His presence because I've experienced the fact that there is a battle going on , and I need to change the way I think, that I need to help myself think on things that are true and positive.
For me the bottom line is that I'm grateful for and enjoy when I get to feel the presence of God, but choose to keep seeking after Him even when I do not feel His presence.