Monthly Archives: May 2016

It All Counts!

IMG_3735By Judy Villanueva

Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” (Genesis 28:16)

“The word present, of course, means near, close to, next to, and the prefix omni gives it universality. God is everywhere here, close to everything, next to everyone.” (AW Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy)

Laying face up in my closet I stared into the blouses that hung above me. This little cubby proves to be a quiet place to pray and always helps me feel tucked away with God.  Do you ever wake up aware of your soul’s longing for God — for an experience of His face, a moment of His love, a Divine touch?  I do, especially when life gets prickly.  To feel His presence infuses all the pieces of my life with hope and meaning.

No matter the trial or richness of any moment, it is the “God with” factor that makes me strong, hopeful, and happy!

As light breaks the night, I wake up with this prayer on my lips, “Find me Father.  Bump into me today.  Help me to live this day with you.”  I admit that what I’m asking for are lightning bolts and holy visions, but instead, God greets me in the morning with whispers and melodies, smiles, coffee and the grace to find Him in the gifts embedded in ordinary days. And, believe it or not, it all counts!

Rainbows, breezes, sunlight and hugs — puffy white clouds and the taste of buttered toast all count as God’s love reaching out to us.

Cultivating an openness to “count” what we may regard as ordinary blessings becomes a powerful pathway into the Divine presence.

The practice of noticing the day’s blessings is a habit that can form in spite of our reluctance to recognize the Holy within the ordinary.  We are products of a culture that craves special effects, so cooperating with the Holy Spirit as He draws our attention to His gentle movements of love can be challenging.  It requires that we let go of our preconceived notions of Holy encounters and avail ourselves to watching for “God with” us in and through the very life given to us each day.

I stumbled out of bed this morning and moved toward the coffee I smelled brewing down the hallway.  As I took that first warm sip of goodness, I thanked God for taste buds and the new day.  Later, working at my desk, I noticed movement outside my window and there, staring in at me, was a gloriously colored bird arrayed in bright yellow and crimson.  I could not help but stare back at him and offer thanks to God for the beauty He splashed all over this little creature!  That same afternoon I found myself on a couch soaking in the company of a friend, all the while aware that I was in the middle of another good gift.  Do these count as the Divine reaching into my life and offering me love?  “Surely the Lord is in this place,”  the very place where we live each day!  Whether in a closet or on a couch, working at a desk or stumbling out of bed, God is always with us and wants us to know it!

“Father, find me. Bump into me today and help me to live this day with you. Thank you that you love being found!   Help me notice your gentle movements of love today. Amen.”

What about you?

Looking back on your day, are you aware of God’s gentle movements of love?  What were they?

Where do you most easily notice God?

How does the “God with” factor affect you?   He is with you.

God loves to be found!  Ask Him to bump into you today.

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