Monday, January 30, 2012

Surely The Presence

This time last year I was sitting in the parking lot of P.F. Chang’s about to go in for another job interview. Having lost a bunch of weight none of my clothes fit, so Chad’s mom who is about six inches shorter than me loaned me some pants.

Something about feeling the cold air on my ankles has always blown a hole in my confidence; still I walked in with my head up, sat down for the interview and tried to convince the twenty-year-old that I was capable of serving food to people in a cheerful and timely manner.

They didn’t give me the job. The last thing I wanted to do was drive back to Jones having failed in yet another job interview. It was so frustrating! I went back to the car and just sat there and cried. I needed to feel God’s presence but could not see Him, could not hear His voice and we so desperately needed His direction.

My senior year of high school my mom and dad moved to Oklahoma City. Dad had been put on the waiting list for a liver at Baptist Hospital and they needed to be closer since they could receive a call at anytime.

My two older brothers and I took part time jobs and were going to school. We would pool our meager income to take care of the household needs, but nobody had money in their pockets. Every weekend we’d drive from Amarillo to Oklahoma City to spend time with mom and dad.

One night I was working a double shift at the fabric store. It was during the holidays and it felt like everybody was buying beautiful things to decorate their homes and celebrate. I had almost forgotten what time of year it was, because we were so focused on what Dad was going through.

It came time for my dinner break. Without a car to leave the store and without any money I just sat in the break room. I was hungry and thirsty and wanted my momma. There was nothing to be done about any of my “wants” so I just put my head down on the table and started to cry.

About that time I heard a “clunk” in the coke machine behind me. I turned around and a cold Diet Dr. Pepper had fallen out. Just happened to be my favorite!

Of all the times God has made His presence known to me this is the one I recall the most often. I felt like the most insignificant person on earth, still He provided and comforted me in the middle of my pain.

This was my “Jacob moment”. God made His presence known to my soul and like Jacob I realized “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not.” Genesis 28:16

As I sat in the parking lot last January, after failing in the interview, I recalled this moment when as a young woman and all the other times in my life that I became aware of the presence of my Heavenly Father. Even through this difficult time He was at work. Not long after this day we moved into our apartment and started Truth Baptist. Having been guided by God’s hand through a series of disappointments, trials and victories we are making progress today.

Recently I ran across the sermons of G. Campbell Morgan, a British Evangelist and Bible Scholar in the early 1900’s, who wrote

“To be conscious of God is immediately to have a new interpretation of life, to discover that the earth itself is more than dust, that all flowers are more than the operation of blind force; to believe with Jesus that God clothes the grass, and robes the lily as Solomon was never arrayed, that He is with the birds, and remains their comrade in their dying. All creation utters forth this great evangel when a man is conscious of God. "This is the age-abiding life, that they should know Thee the only true God, and Him Whom Thou didst send, even Jesus Christ."

What a beautiful awareness! I pray to never lose sight of the presence of God and His plan to transform the lives of those around us. Relying on this promise “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b

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