Archive for July, 2012

Glimpses of God

cascade falls Yesterday, I still wasn’t sure what I would post today.  I had several ideas, but couldn’t decide.  And so, I committed to pray for insight and direction. (I happen to be studying about prayer right now and have sensed the need to go deeper in my prayer life.  What better way to practice, right?) So, while a little last minute, I began to pray about it. 

It also happens that I’m on a get away trip with my husband. He’s here for a convention and I have the opportunity to join him. Yesterday’s scheduled activity was a nature hike on a trail with cascading falls. Perfect, I thought. Maybe something spectactular will happen that I can write about.

“Dear God, Please show me a glimpse of You today.” 

Within the first five minutes of the walk, we began to hear interesting sounds… the sound of a tree cracking. Each time, the tour guide would abruptly halt what he was saying.  With a concerned look on his face, he told the group that it sounded like a tree was about to fall.  Within minutes, we heard one final pop and the tree began to topple. While the tree was a relatively safe distance from our path, it was still possible that the falling tree could have reached our group and taken several other trees down with it.  So, as the tree screamed in anguish, thoughts rushed my mind quicker that the stream beside me:

Is this what I prayed for?

Do we need to run?

Surely God will protect us.

Wow, this may make a great story!

And then, in an anti-climatic finale, I realized that just the top portion of the tree had broken off.  And while loud and impressive, it wasn’t anywhere near us and it wasn’t as exciting as I conjured up in those brief seconds in my mind.  Of course, I don’t like too much excitement of that nature, so I was content with the outcome.

But… that meant I still had nothing to write about.  No grand story to tell of how I saw evidence of God today. And then, as if chuckling and tapping me on the shoulder saying, “Look around,” I realized I was surrounded by the presence of God.

Towering trees. Lush woodlands. Butterflies fluttering. Beautiful cascading falls. Spring filled pools of water.

All the handiwork of God Almighty. Creator. Author.

In that quiet moment of realization, I saw my glimpse of God.

So, where ever you find yourself today, I pray that you stop and realize that you, too, are in the presence of God.

Glimpses of God

We’re surrounded by evidence of God – just look around at creation.  But sometimes we long for more than evidence. We long for interaction.  We want reminders that God is real and loves us.  

And so, I want to create a place where we can share and encourage one another.  On Fridays, I will post stories that demonstrate God at work in the details of our lives. It may be a verse that was found at the perfect moment, and encounter with a stranger, a new thought or insight, a series of events that could have only been orchestrated by God or a long list of other ways that you’ve experienced God. 

I will share a few to get us started, but I really want to hear from you!  Please share you stories, big or small.  It doesn’t have to be on the mission field overseas or even in church. I want to hear about everyday ways that you encounter glimpses of God. 

I’ll start with a situation from this week…

In a place with a group of people that I know, I felt very much like an outsider. The others were connected in ways that I’m not. And so, instead of fully engaging, I sat back and observed. I also watched as my kids played with their group of kids. And while my kids were allowed to join the activity, it was clear they were not a real part of the group.

The group in reference were all very nice women and kids. They weren’t being exclusive; they just shared a bond that I didn’t have with them.  And while I knew this rationally, in the moment it stung my heart. For whatever reason, at the time I felt like an outsider. My thoughts even began to wander down the road of irrational thinking and questioning.  You know, those extreme thoughts like, “I don’t truly fit in anywhere.”  I know that’s not the truth, but my emotions were stirring disparaging feelings.

I said a quick prayer.  I knew my thoughts weren’t healthy or productive and I wanted to stop the downward cycle.

Arriving home, still feeling a little lonely and processing what had transpired, I sat at my computer to respond to some emails. There was a technical one about homeschooling and I noticed at the bottom, they had included a verse.  I’m not sure if it was part of their signature; it seemed just randomly placed.  But it read, “God sets the lonely in families. Ps 68:6” The verse slammed the brakes on my negative thoughts. It was exactly what I needed to hear.  I thanked God for my family and that I’m part of His.

An hour later, I headed to my Bible study group. The DVD for this week’s session was missing, so the facilitator decided to show next week’s video instead… and of course, it was a perfectly timed message.  It was about how God wants us to go beyond helping people and identify with them. I reflected on the events from earlier in the day and how I felt as an outsider. I sensed God urging me to remember how it feels and to be sensitive in watching for others who might be feeling left out.

It was a powerful reminder. And beautiful how God works.  I’m certain I saw a glimpse of God.