Present in His Presence

I think a lot of us feel like we want to hear God more. We want to know what He has to say to us.  But why is it so hard to hear Him? 

It was Easter weekend, 2015, and I was frantic.  In the midst of making sure all three kids had decent clothes and shoes to wear for church, I decided to take some time to get a pedicure and shop for a new dress.  Apparently every other woman and girl in town wanted to get a pedicure at the same time as me.  It took over 2 hours to finally get my toes painted and then I felt guilty about shopping after that much time away from home.  My husband had already sent the “where are you” and “how much longer” text messages.  I began to resent my precious family because I couldn’t just do something for myself for a few hours without feeling like I was abandoning them.  Then the inner-battle ensued.  My thoughts immediately swirled about how I’ve completely given up everything I want so that I can make sure that everyone around me will have what they want.  {Let’s be honest: It was a full-blown pity party.} What did I even want? I had no idea.  I mean, it really wasn’t about the pedicure or the new dress.  Did I even really want a new dress or did I just want alone time, or someone to recognize how much I’ve given up? If someone asked me what I wanted—my hopes and dreams—what would I say? I didn’t know what I wanted….and I didn’t realize what was missing in my life to make me feel so crazy and forsaken. On the outside, I had it all—the wonderful family, the really good job, the awesome house, etc.  But on the inside, I was just a broken, messed up person in need of a savior.

Sadly, I didn’t think to talk to God about my struggles that day. I wasn’t willing to be still and just listen for His guidance. I rushed around, busy as ever, taking care of everyone else—constantly controlling everything I could. Sitting still was certainly not an option for this super-busy momma.

The following Monday at work, I nestled into my little cube with my nice warm coffee and started to enjoy my peace and quiet (a definite perk of being a working mom is quiet coffee time at 8:00 on Monday mornings). But then a co-worker approached me. I hate to admit it, but I prayed that God would make him go away.  Didn’t he know I don’t talk to people this early on a Monday? “Ughh… here we go,” was the only thought that I could formulate. I was trapped in my cube—forced to be still. So he started in…and I quickly tuned him out. He definitely was not about to stop talking any time soon. But suddenly, I was jolted.  I vaguely heard him say something about taking care of myself and making sure that I knew what I wanted. (WHAT?! How could he possibly have known that this was my struggle over the weekend?)  He had my attention now, for sure. {I was finally present in His presence! I felt God pulling on my heart strings.} This man started talking about how my children needed to see that I was happy and that I did things for myself, etc. Before I knew it, tears were streaming down my face. What was happening to me? Did I even know this man well enough to cry in front of him? I was dreadfully embarrassed! Then he said, “May I pray for you?”  I was overcome with emotion, I bowed my head and couldn’t tell you the words of his prayer, but I felt them. I felt that prayer deep in my soul. There was always a tiny flame in there somewhere that would flare up from time to time. But this time, that tiny flame ignited into a fire—I was changed in that moment.  Through my tears, I squeaked out a “thank you” as he finished.  And then, with confidence he shrugged and said, “Meh, sometimes the Holy Spirit just knows.” Then he walked away.

What happened next is the beginning of my total transformation. {I will tell y’all a little more about that next month!}  What I really wanted to share today was the importance of being still enough to recognize God’s presence.  Thanks to an obedient soul who was guided by the Holy Spirit, I heard God that day. Sometimes God will force us to be still and listen. So just be still and listen—not just with your ears, but with your heart and soul. He is always with you. He is always guiding you.  You must be still and be present in His presence in order to hear Him.  In reference to our inability to hear from God, Pastor Larry Stockstill once said, “God’s always broadcasting—you don’t hear radio stations if your radio is not on either.” Be still. Be present. Let your burning ember turn into a flame. He’s waiting for you.


 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”  Exodus 14:14


What can you do to be still and present in His presence so that you don’t miss His message?

~Jamie

 

 

 

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