Jeremiah 23:23-24 NKJV
Romans 8:28 NKJV
Psalm 139:7-10 NKJV
From the Beginning
From before the beginning God is everywhere all the time. There has never been a time in eternity when God has not been present.
The problem with humans is that when we get weighted down in the muck and mire, we don’t ‘feel’ God is present with us.
I know. I’ve been there.
In late 2003, we were in ministry, we had just built a new home, I had a job that I liked, we were getting ready to celebrate 30 years of marriage.
As 2004 rolled around, I thought it was going to be a great year.
Then, almost overnight it collapsed. I still don’t know the whole story. My husband left the ministry. He had no job. The house payment was more than I made in a month. It turned out that 2004 was a year of unraveling. I had no church, no church friends, and many of my neighbors wouldn’t speak to me. I hadn’t told anyone what had happened so there was a great deal I didn’t understand.
One day in late summer, I received a phone call from someone in my old Sunday School class and the caller told me that it took time but they knew what happened. He wanted me to know he knew the story. He told me God was and would take care of me. That was the only contact I’d had with anyone in my old life.
My former spouse left town. I liquidated as much as i could, I bought a small older condo and I found a church to attend. It was a very large church and I thought I could hide from the world. I felt like all I really had was God. I felt that way because I was ashamed and I felt like I had failed. Rumors about what happened spread and filled my days and nights.
By the end of the year, the only thing I had left was my job, my friends at work, and a healing prayer service at my new church. I would go to the service, sit in the back, and cry. I found out later that prayer people were sitting nearby covering me with their prayers. Every week I went and I sat in the back. Every week they prayed for me.
Somehow I knew God would take care of me. In Jeremiah 23:23-24, the prophet wrote, “Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.”
As difficult as life was in those early days, I know God was engineering my new life for good. I held onto Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to HIS purpose.”
In the Bible, David had faced similar feelings.
In Psalm 139:7-10, he wrote, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.”
God was holding onto me. God still had good for me and my future.
I still went to the healing prayer service weekly and I started attending Divorce Care classes. After being married for 30 years I needed to learn how to move on my myself.
Someone told me about a place where I could go talk with a Spiritual Director. I sat with him as often as I could for nearly ten years.
It took several years for me to even think about going on a date. When I did I realized I wasn’t ready yet, so I ended it and didn’t date again for 10 more years. When I did start dating I knew when God is first in my life everything else will work out.
Then, much to my surprise, in the midst of my new life, God came calling again.
I was asked to be Director of the Healing Prayer Service. I was part of that ministry for years. Then, God called again and off to Seminary I went. Being single, I had to continue working (so I could eat and have a place to lay my head at night). Working full time and being a fill time student in graduate school was not easy but I made it. At one point I thought Hebrew class would kill me but I came to LOVE it. Studying Hebrew has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I also started reading Richard Foster’s works and became a fan of Renovare. I read everything I could get my hands on about Spiritual Direction. Henri Nouwen became my favorite theologian.
I’ve learned from my marvelous (funny, Irish Catholic) Spiritual Director, from Seminary, from Renovare and reading Henri Nouwen, that God is ever-present in our lives.
God will not fail us.
God is everywhere, all the time.
Helping in times of trouble.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Sit in the Presence of God
Spend as much time as you are comfortable with sitting in the Presence of God. If you want to you can pray, but you really don’t have to say anything. God is there and knows YOU.
In God, Deborah