'God's Words For US' with Cecelia Lester
Originally posted on 06/08/2018
“And surely I am with you always,
to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20 (NIV)
Do we sense God in our lives? When do we feel His presence? How do we feel it?
Sometimes we call the times we feel God in our lives ‘God moments’. I have a friend who calls them ‘God sightings.’ Whatever we call them, they are special to us.
I had three God moments a few days before Christmas. The first one happened when I helped deliver Christmas packages to those children who were unable to attend a “Happy Birthday, Jesus” party a few days earlier. The director, a friend of mine, and I met at our church and put packages in my car. She phoned the caregiver who lived closest to our location.
We found the house with ease. The caregiver explained why she and her two children were unable to attend the party.
She has a niece who had been injured in a freak accident. The girl, a teenager, had not used her head and met some other kids online and arranged a double date. The aunt had told this girl several times that she needed to be careful of whom she interacted with online.
The caregiver also told us she herself moved from a rough side of our town to keep her two children away from crime. Since she moved to her present location, she had only one problem.
As we were leaving, we asked if we could turn her niece’s name into our church as a prayer need. The lady said, “Yes.” We stood on the porch, held hands and prayed for this niece and her family.
One of our later stops was at the home of a caregiver who has experienced poor health.
She raises her grandson. When she let us into her house, she told us she had been in the hospital with what seemed to be a life-threatening condition. Before we left we had prayer with this special grandmother.
I had been in this lady’s home before as I helped deliver food to her. We had put that phase of our ministry on hold because our source curtailed operations. The best we could do was to refer those to whom we minister to area food banks. As we drove away, the director said she wanted to find a way to begin anew with the food deliveries, as needed by the people we serve.
The third God moment occurred at a class for Weekday Religious Education. The public schools allow fourth graders who have parental permission to be bussed to area churches for religious instruction. Our church hosts one of the classes.
I helped in this class as a fill-in person when one of the helpers had to drop out. The first week, I saw a little girl go out of her way to take care of the others at her table. What I believed about her was in error. After seeing her at religious education classes two times, I saw her at the party the other ministry I work in gave.
When the weekday class met for the last time right before Christmas, the children filled out papers for our main teacher and for the ministry board. I noticed one of her prayer requests involved her concern for her dad. Seeing this request made my heart go out to her. I felt God’s compassion go through me.
The class usually ended with a prayer walk to the bus. That day it ended with a prayer circle. The four of us adults helped the children form a circle. This little girl chose to stand by me and hold my hand. After each of us adults prayed for the children, the four of us received and gave hugs. This one child and I hugged for quite a while.
Why are these God moments, you ask?
The first one showed us the terrible events that happen and how they affect lives of those close to those involved. The second reminded me of the needs people have that aren’t always apparent. The last one demonstrated how fragile the lives of children can be. Children have issues in their lives they can’t talk about because they are so personal; some of these conditions, if others knew, might cause them problems with their peers.
Sometimes I feel like God is not close to me. Then, I have times like the ones I shared with you. God was with us as we delivered those Christmas gifts. He instructed me when we visited the grandmother's home. God was at that ministry party as I connected with that little fourth grade girl on a weekend evening. He let His presence be known to me as I assisted those children in religious education class. On the last day of the class I also discovered that another girl has a fragile life. We don’t know what children have to go through in life. The one strong point going for all children and adults of any age is, no matter their circumstance, once they know Him, God is with them.