Where do I notice God’s Presence?

I appreciate a good question. A thoughtful, well timed question can often change our outlook, our perspective, maybe even change our life. Jesus was a master at asking great questions. Think of the time in Matthew 16 when Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” That one question forced Peter to think through all he knew of Jesus and Peter declared, “You are the Messiah, the son of the Living God.” Or think of John 5 when Jesus encountered a man that had been paralyzed for 38 years and Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be healed?” That’s a great question. We might think the obvious answer is, “Yes! Of course I want to be healed!” However, healing would mean that the man would have to learn a skill, get a job, make his own way, and that must have been a scary realization. It’s like a prisoner who is released from prison and immediately commits a crime so they can go back to a life that is known and familiar. Do you REALLY want to be free? Are you SURE you want to be healed? Bottom line, Jesus knew the power behind a well phrased question. I was recently presented with two great questions that caused me to stop and think. These questions were an encouragement to me and I want to share them with you. The questions are courtesy of Delia Loving.

Delia and I met recently and in the course of our conversation she told me that she’s made it a goal for 2024 to ask herself the same question every day. That question is, “Where do I notice God’s presence in my life today?” I asked Delia how she came up with that idea. She said the idea occurred to her at the beginning of 2023, but the question was different. Her question for 2023 was, “What do I need to get rid of today in order to make more room for God?” As she asked that question throughout 2023 the Lord brought to mind different ways that she could reorganize things in her life. Delia said, “I don’t like clutter and I found that my life was too cluttered, not only with things, but my mind was sometimes too cluttered. Asking this question helped me to think about what I needed to let go of so that I could grow closer to the Lord.” As Delia began to rid herself of things that distracted her from the Lord, she began to take note of where God was working and her prayer life was enriched through this process. Delia had two pretty dramatic answers to prayer in 2023. The first answer to prayer came on their family vacation to Prague. Delia explains, “We were stranded in New York’s JFK Airport because our flight to Prague was cancelled, and so we changed airlines and had to retrieve our checked bags from Delta Airlines (the original carrier). At that time, numerous flights had been cancelled, and the luggage claim area was a sea of yet-to-be-claimed suitcases. While I stood in line, I prayed this: ‘Lord, my eyes are hurting from trying to find our luggage in this incredible mess, could you just make our luggage appear?’ While the part about my eyes hurting was true, the request to have our suitcases show up magically was not made with much seriousness or expectation, as I continued to stand in line along with the multitude of stranded passengers with the same mission of retrieving their belongings. My turn to walk up to the help counter finally arrived after two long hours. The agent typed in my information, and her screen showed that our suitcases were arriving at that exact moment! Our luggage literally had just shown up, just as I had prayed. God hears our prayers — and has such a wonderful sense of humor in
His perfect timing.”

The second answered prayer occurred last fall. Delia’s son, Cody, transferred to Virginia Tech as a junior. Cody was doing well in all of his classes, but he was particularly worried about a computer science class. Cody is a very smart young man and is talented in many areas of his life, but coding is not something that he enjoys or that comes naturally to him. Cody expressed his concerns to Delia. Delia began to pray that the Lord would send Cody a friend who could help him. Only a couple of days later Cody called Delia and in the course of their conversation he mentioned that he met a new friend through Campus Crusade Ministry. Cody’s new friend lived within walking distance of Cody and his major was, you guessed it, computer science. For the rest of the semester Cody’s new friend assisted him with coding and Cody ended up with an A in the class!