Daily Devotion - Monday, February 22, 2016
1 O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples! 2 Sing to him, sing praises to him, tell of all his wonderful works! 3 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! 4 Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually! - Psalm 105:1-4
A couple of years ago my wife and I had the great fortune to spend some time in the wonderful city of Vancouver, British Columbia. While we were there, we decided to visit Christ Church Cathedral, a beautiful, historic Anglican church in the middle of downtown Vancouver.
As we typically do when we visit beautiful churches around the world, Merideth and I decided to spend some time in prayer while we were there. I claimed a spot among the seats facing the altar, and began to pray and journal. I was praying fervently about some things that I was struggling to understand, and was seeking wisdom and discernment.
"God," I remember praying, "if you could just let me know what I need to do or give me some kind of sign--that would be great. I could really use your help. I don't know the best way forward any more." I sat in silence, breathing in and out, trying to listen, to open my spirit.
I looked up and saw a young woman approaching me. She had been sitting in the seats near me in the church while I was praying, but I hadn't paid much attention to her until that moment. She stopped next to me, and said, "I don't know why, but I feel like I need to tell you something."
Then the young woman paused and looked intently at me. "You are an overcomer," she said at last. "I'm not sure why I am supposed to tell you that, but I'm supposed to. You are an overcomer. Don't be afraid of whatever is ahead of you." And then she left. I sat there stunned--the words of my prayer for a sign from God still echoing in my thoughts.
The lectionary Psalm for today contains these words, "Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually." I often find myself searching for answers and praying for God to "show up" and let me know that God is still there, and that God has a plan for my life, God, for the most part. Most of the answers I get are far less dramatic than what I experienced in Vancouver.
Still, it makes me wonder just how often I am missing God's presence because I am rushing through my life, relying on my own strength and my own ability to solve my own problems. Most of the times when I have heard God's voice, and experienced God's presence more fully have been when I empty myself of myself. And according to the psalmist, this is something that I need to do "continually."
May you begin the practice of "continually" seeking God's presence. May you be still and know that God is God and you are not. May you listen intently and open you spirit to the Spirit that hovered over Creation in the beginning and hovers over you now in your wondering. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.