One of the crazy, mind-boggling things about God is that while his character is immutable, the vastness of the ways in which individuals experience him is unending. I have heard stories about people audibly hearing God’s voice as they pleaded for his direction. Others have seen his face of compassion in a moment of anguish or delight. Some have even felt his physical healing touch as their bodies longed to be restored.

I can recall a time when I experienced the visceral presence of Jesus. My dad had been battling cancer for almost a year and he was not doing well. One night as I was trying to fall asleep, I lay in bed fervently praying, calling out to God for peace and reassurance. My mind was racing with thoughts of what life would be like for my mom and the rest of my family if God were to take him home. In a moment of despair, I saw a light and heard a voice saying, “Trust me. He is going to be just fine.” I honestly don’t know if that voice was audible or if it was just in my head. And I can’t even describe the light, but I do know that it was beautiful and immensely peaceful. The words were affirming, comforting and I was completely aware that I had experienced the presence of Jesus.

John 1:14 says, ”And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” When we encounter God, we experience his presence, because he wants to be experienced. It is not because we have some unique spiritual ability, but because we have a God who longs for us to know him, to see his face, and simply experience him. He longs for us to see his glory and to know that he is full of grace and truth.

The next few days were hard but at the same time, I felt a contentment that was new, reassuring, and difficult to describe. The truth was that my dad was going to be just fine. So fine in fact that just a few days later God took him home to spend eternity with him, whole, healed, and complete. Eighteen years later I still miss him, but God’s presence has continued to bring me a peace that goes beyond my comprehension.

When have you experienced Jesus? What did it feel like to be in his presence? The beauty of experiencing the presence of Jesus is that in so doing, we encounter a peace that transcends our understanding regardless of the outcome. Life doesn’t always turn out as we hope, but we can be reassured that in the presence of Jesus, we will experience peace.

Lynette Fuson
Care & Counseling Director

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