I will praise you for as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy.
Psalm 63:4-5 NLT
Last autumn I woke one day with a sensation of being bathed in love. I felt a rich and deep inner contentment and well-being. I knew I was with God and this was God’s love. I lay in bed, a smile in my heart, which was reflected on my face. I prayed with hands uplifted. I was deeply satisfied and I took those waking minutes fully to enjoy this state of grace.
I always pray, albeit briefly, as my head hits the pillow. I am fortunate in that I quickly fall asleep each night. I want to remind myself of the presence of God with me at all times. It was as though this acknowledgement of both my desire and need for God expressed in prayer even as I entered sleep continued throughout the night. As I woke the next day, not only had I found God without being conscious, but God had found me. We were united and all I could do was give thanks, pray and bask in God’s mercy and grace.
All such experiences are subjective, and for good reason. We can accept them as signs of God’s grace or rationalise them with some psychological explanation. I choose to accept such moments as tokens of God’s grace, which lie beyond human rationality. That said, God’s presence is experienced in different ways by each one of us.
I am grateful that in our church, Jayne and I are part of a group which shares stories of where we have encountered God during the past week. It is encouraging to learn from each other the everyday struggles and delights in following Jesus. This approach is personal and practical, keeping us from talking about God in a theoretical way.
When has God surprised you with a special grace, or moment of encounter?
Thank you for the times I have met with you in a deep way. Be close to me today and this night throughout my waking and my sleeping. I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.