God ’s Presence © by Diane Raborn
It is always thrilling to feel the presence of God. There are few things that can rival the incredible joy of a moment filled with the surety that God has captured our complete attention. Indescribably invading our senses we are left stunned.
This must be one of the reasons we observe the mighty fight of faith ongoing in faraway, dangerous regions. These Christ-followers seem to hold on without wavering. And the faithful know whom they are following, why they are following and where they are going. There is no agenda to their belief system other than to walk with the Lord, their Savior and most trusted friend, on life’s everyday path. Glorious glimpses of God have invaded in such fullness that turning away is unthinkable. They pray and have courage. We should too.
Our nagging doubts, which pervade everyday thoughts, have a unique ability. They are able to lead us to remembrances of times past when God touched us, thereby offering a rekindling of Spirit and resolve. If repressed, forgotten and agreed upon nagging doubts win by illusion. Reflecting upon those treasured ‘Holy Spirit moments’ diffuse doubts and encourage faith, often resulting in stories to be passed along throughout the generations.
One such story is embroidered on my heart. A cherished story. My husband and I were working in Vancouver in mid-December 2006 at a large annual 3-day convention. We were delighted to have this trip and stayed at the Granville Island Boutique Hotel. We decided to ‘spell’ each other to give us each some ‘down-time’ from our very active booth.
During my off time, I decided to explore the nearby Granville Market. I took the book I was currently reading, eventually finding a quiet table upstairs overlooking the area. Just coffee, seagulls, and my book, “Andrew Murray on the Holy Spirit”. Andrew Murray, for those who don’t know, is a prolific 19th century South African pastor and Christian writer. He was practical in using any written method to aid in growing faith. He also had 9 children. Having completed the book at the market I couldn’t help but think about these children. Where were they and their children now? I noticed a downpour outside the open market from my perch when a seagull’s wings sprayed me. Holding the book inside my raincoat, I dashed to the hotel. Still, oddly, thinking about the children.
Racing to the small elevator and dripping wet, I noticed a woman a bit younger than me inside. “What are you reading?” she said staring at the book I’m holding inside my raincoat. “Oh, I’m sure you’ve never heard of him, a writer in the mid 1800’s from South Africa. Andrew Murray.” We’re both pretty drenched and laughing; however, she’s quick to say, “I’m Mrs. Andrew Murray.” When I look puzzled, she adds, “My husband and I just returned from a reunion overseas where we met 300 of the family members of Andrew Murray. Funny, though,” she states, “I’ve not met anyone who knows who he is.” Nor had I. And, then this lovely lady goes on to tell me about every one of the nine children of Andrew Murray, the original purpose-driven pastor. Neither of us missed what had just taken place. We were dry before we left the conversation. God’s presence stunned us.
Upon leaving the next day, I visited Scott at the front desk to drop off a short note for the modern-day Murray’s. Scott mentioned in conversation that it was only yesterday morning that they moved from the 1st floor to the 3rd. Without their move, we’d never have met, as an elevator would have been unnecessary.
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Carefully unwrap what many would consider a ‘happen-stance’ or coincidence to determine if God’s grace has, in fact, enveloped you. In doing so, we are able to feel His presence. Joy!