“The rocky bowels of the unsearched-out depths are full of God; where the sea roars, or where the solid granite leaves no interstice or vacuum, even there is God; not only in the open place, and in the chasm, but penetrating all matter, and abounding everywhere in all, and filling all things with himself.” – Charles H. Spurgeon
I have numerous memories as a child, growing up in El Paso, Texas. From climbing the Mimosa Tree in my front yard to playing Hide-and-Seek with the kids in our neighborhood every Friday night and the aroma of homemade baked bread escaping our kitchen, arresting my senses as I walked home from school.
Prayer is another recollection from my youth. I remember my mother’s prayer life as if it happened yesterday. She talked to the Lord all the time and was acutely aware of His presence. Most evenings, while my siblings and I were trying to sleep, powerful words of petition, praise, and passion reverberated throughout our house. You see, she sang her prayers and wasn’t quiet about it – Oh, how I wish we were together so that I could demonstrate.
There was a confident assurance that God was present in our home and lives. There was no question. Because my mother was a woman of prayer, she insisted that we participate. We blessed our food at the dinner table, prayed for each other during family gatherings and prayed before going to sleep at night. When my sister and I fought, we had to hold hands and pray for each other. We also squeezed each other’s hands just enough to let the other know that the rift was still a rift.
At times my mother’s constant engagement with the Lord annoyed me and I would have loved a reprieve from this foundation building exercise. Looking back, however, I am grateful that I experienced the presence of the Lord at such a young age. There wasn’t a time in my youth where prayer was absent. It wasn’t something that my mother taught; it was a discipline I learned through her experience, by watching. There was little need for instruction in communing with the Lord; it was a significant element of my upbringing.
As I’ve matured, I find myself talking to the Lord, just as my mother did. Singing my prayers have become a part of my life – although, I sleep at night! When times get rough, I recall those moments when we needed a miracle. My memory has everything to do with knowing that God was near and was acquainted with our need. When things get dicey with those I’m in a relationship with, I know He knows and is with me.
Over the past year, I have had some incredible experiences; I have also had to deal with a few heartbreaking encounters. I am eternally grateful that the presence of the Lord was with me every moment. He will never leave! Psalm 139:7-10 has been a stabilizing force in my life:
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your
presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in
Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in
the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
I read a story, some time ago, about a little girl who came home from school. As soon as she walked in the door, her mother sensed something was amiss. When she asked her daughter what was bothering her, the little girl’s response was moving. “Mama, I’m sad because it was cloudy all day. The sun didn’t even shine during recess.” Moved by her emotion, the mother gathered her daughter in her arms, brought her close and whispered sweetly, “Baby girl, the sun always shines. Sometimes you have to look beyond the clouds.”
This story reminds me of the presence of the Lord. He is with us. It may be difficult to comprehend His supernatural ability to be spatially and entirely present, but He simply is!
My encouragement to you is to take the time to acknowledge God’s presence in every situation. He is with you!
Cheryl Luke is a speaker and writer who is committed to helping men and women live with intention. She challenges individuals to embrace the story of their lives as they learn to connect with God, themselves, and others through the concepts of the Relate Model. With over 35 years in ministry, Cheryl’s goal is to engage, inspire, and equip the generations to acknowledge Christ’s unyielding love and share it with those around them. She lives in Austin, TX with her family and enjoys traveling and Sunday dinners. Connect with her online and on Instagram or Facebook.