Do you remember the last time God showed up unannounced in your life? Even though the Lord is everywhere always, occasionally He’ll show up in a unique way. This happened to me just a few days ago.
(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)
I headed to the mall to pick up some last-minute gifts. The traffic crawled along in the wet winter weather. Stuck at a stoplight behind a line of cars, I remembered that a few years ago I had purchased some songs from Celine Dion’s Christmas album.
“Hey, Siri,” I said, “play Celine Dion.”
The familiar melody of my favorite Christmas carol began. With traffic going nowhere, I had a forced moment of complete solitude, and I listened to an angelic voice singing words that resonated with the core of my being.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.
Then it happened.
Nowhere to Go But Up
Maybe it was the painful memories the holidays often resurrect—with a family history as hurtful as my life is long. Perhaps it was the past year of struggling to start my own business after being laid off from the ministry where I served for 12 years.
Or maybe it simply was the brief solitude I found myself in at a red light—with nowhere to go but up.
Fall on your knees; O hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born.
Suddenly, the truth of the lyrics I heard worked their way from my ears to my heart, and I sensed the overwhelming presence of God with me.
It was an unguarded moment. Unplanned. Unexpected. Sudden. Surprising.
And desperately needed.
(Photo: I snapped this photo to remember the moment.)
What Happens When God Shows Up
God’s overwhelming presence is not something you can manufacture or plan. Like the angels that appeared above the shepherds that night near Bethlehem, it’s unexpected. It’s His doing, not ours.
There’s something about the presence of God that solves all problems. His overwhelming sense of power, love, acceptance, control. It puts us completely at ease.
He intends it to.
Brief glimpses of the presence of God now give us hope for the moment we’ll see Him face to face—for the eternal now when we’ll never be without Him. When faith shall be sight.
Sometimes the struggle you’ve lived with for so long becomes white noise that distracts you from remembering that the presence of God will solve it all. The presence of God now brings hope for the presence of God for eternity.
The weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
I didn’t realize the need I had for the presence of God until I had it. How kind of the Lord to allow me a moment to close my eyes, to dry my eyes, and then to lift my eyes to Him in gratitude for His presence. A cold, wet traffic jam on the way to a crowded shopping mall. Normally, not a great experience.
But because God showed up, my car became a sanctuary.
Maybe this year He will come! We need to remember that His presence will solve it all.
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Tell me what you think: Have you experienced God’s surprising presence before? Maybe in your car. Or with a walk in the woods? Or while listening to music? To leave a comment, just click here.