I have loved God since my earliest memories and been aware of his presence many times. There were several years where I wasn’t following God, yet he was there and I recognized his presence.
I have sensed his presence in times of danger: when my hitchhike ride drove past where he was to drop me off, inviting me to prostitution; when my date for the night starting caressing a sharp kitchen knife inches from my throat; when my car died in the middle of the Saskatchewan prairie and I had no idea what to do; when my trailer-pulling car spun out of control on slick ice on a busy, undivided highway.
I have sensed his presence in times of pain: when my best friend at the time turned against me; when I was deciding whether to pursue my love for Pearl or walk away from her; when marital conflicts have arisen.
I have sensed his presence the most, perhaps, when I have been pursuing God—at conferences, retreats, camps, in the midst of prayer or worship, singing or playing the piano, staring at the cross, in my prayer room, while encouraging someone in pain or difficulty—the times when I’m in a posture to receive him. He shows up at the big times but also in the seemingly insignificant times. The more I focus my thoughts on him, the more I sense his presence.
There are times when he feels very absent, when I, like David, cry out, “How long, O Lord, will you forsake me? How long will you turn your head away?” There are times I have shut him out in anger, despair or apathy yet even then he is present and I recognize it later.
How have you sensed God’s presence in your life? Did you sense God before you became a Christian?
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