After walking with the Lord for over 25 years, I am able to look back upon many moments where it is absolutely clear to me that the Lord was right there with me. I have been asked throughout the years the reason for my faith. It is these very stories of His active presence in my life that gives me strength for the faith that I fervently hold on to.
As I begin to share my current journey of witnessing His active presence with you, I will also share stories, glimpses of that presence. Some of these stories will be my own, some will be stories shared by others, all will be true events. If you have a story to share, comment below or send me an email at email@example.com. I would love to hear your stories and share them with your permission. I think that we often forget how valuable these stories of God’s active presence are in another person’s seeking of the truth or strengthening of their own faith.
I have many memories of God’s direct provision, protection and presence but it is the small stories that touch my heart the most. I think that is because I think of my own life as a mother and how I meet the needs of my children and provide protection for them. I do this absentmindedly – although purposefully – it is something that needs to be done, because I am their mother and that is what a mother does. However, when I want to really bless my children, I do something special just for them. I listen, I pay attention and I discover what it is that my children desires. Sometimes it is something big, sometimes it is simple, sometimes almost trivial, yet every time my child beams because I paid attention and gave them something that they desired. There is just something about being blessed with a simple heart’s desire.
Today, I share one of my favorite stories.
When I was pregnant with my third child, with only weeks left before her arrival, I had an amazing experience that humbled me as I literally felt the Lord’s arms wrapped around me. We had just moved to a new apartment in Jacksonville, Florida. We knew no one other than two nearby young mothers that we met in the apartment complex. It was a new city, a new apartment and a whole new adventure.
I was busy unpacking our boxes, attempting to make our apartment a home. Like many young families, we did not have much in the way of possessions. We were driving or limping around in a twenty plus year old Dodge Maxi Van. We did not go out much. We often worried about whether or not we would even have electricity the following month. Simply put, we were struggling, barely getting by with each passing day. Despite our struggles, I clung to the knowledge of God’s presence and provision. I knew that I had nothing to worry about because it was Him that sustained us.
As I set up the girls’ bedroom, I found myself with a decision to make. We had a twin sized bed for our soon-to-be four year old and a toddler bed for the nearly two year old. Setting up the toddler bed would require the use of the crib mattress, leaving the coming baby without a bed of her own. Although, It was a seemingly easy decision to make, I still cringed about the fact that I would need another crib mattress for the crib, as well as a place to set it up in our already busting-at-the-seams tiny apartment.
I have lost specific details of the timing of these events over the years. I can not recall if it happened the same day or days later, but I can still hear the knock on the door. Keep in mind, we knew no one other than the two neighbor ladies, which both happened to be there at that moment. As it occurred to me that someone was at the door, I remember wondering who it could possibly be as my only two friends were there with me. I opened the door to a stranger, a woman who introduced herself as my upstairs neighbor’s mother. The conversation was short.
“Hi, my daughter lives upstairs and is going through some of her things. We were wondering if you would be interested in a cradle for your baby?”
“Of course… yes!”
Moments later she was back at the door with the exact cradle that I had wanted, coveted even, over the last few years with my previous two babies. Had I had the opportunity, I would have already owned that same cradle, but a cradle is not a necessity. It is a short-term baby item that would have been an unnecessary use of money. It was a white cradle with round lathed spindles and hung on a base that made it a perfect height and size to be close by our bed.
Also distinct in my memories, forever engraved, is the love I felt as I witnessed the Lord’s active presence in my life. He was already meeting all our needs, and here He was giving me a precious gift, one of my heart’s desires. I knew that no one else knew that I wanted a cradle, exactly like the one I received, certainly not the neighbor upstairs whom I had not before met! No one, but the Lord Himself knew the desire of my heart.
This memory was one of the first times that I remember experiencing the Lord caring about every tiny little detail in our lives. It brought to life for me Matthew 7:9-11 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” It was a request of my heart, not even something that I had ever asked the Lord for, yet He knew me. He knew what I wanted and He blessed me.
What an awesome God we serve!
This story alone is enough for my faith to be strengthened. I know many that would think it a coincidence. What is not a coincidence is the fact that this is just one example of many many examples of the Lord’s active presence in my life over the years. Compile them all together and the only explanation is clearly God Himself, loving me just as His inerrant Word says that He does.