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Sensing God's Presence

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?

Comments

Mikael said…
see the last "Encounter with God": http://mikaelchan.livejournal.com/29189.html

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About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at debbiehaughland@gmail.com or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …