Sunday, April 21, 2024

Recognizing God's Presence - Here, There, and Wherever You Are

 Happy Sunday my friends,

As I was having my coffee this morning, I was reading one of my favorite passages in the Bible - 

Luke 24:13-35 - The Road to Emmaus.  I love this story for several reasons. 

I've been on a "walk to Emmaus" and it still remains one of the most beautiful experiences I've ever had. Of course, it wasn't the actual road to Emmaus, as in the scriptures, but it was definitely an encounter with the Lord.

Many years ago, our community had an organization that held men and women's weekend retreats called "The Walk to Emmaus." It was a weekend filled with encouragement, silence, service, blessings and encounters with Jesus. It was, quite literally, a great example of what Heaven will be like, in regard to many different religions (but all Christ followers) being together in worship. 

As we all ate together, worshipped together, sat and were served together, it broke down the walls of man-made religion; all the doctrine that men cling to, rather than clinging to the single focus of Jesus and nothing else. 

What a refreshing time!

As I was reading the scriptures this morning, about the disciples on the road to Emmaus and their "hearts burning within them" while in the presence of Jesus, it reminded me of some of the different times I've been in the presence of Jesus and felt that burning in my heart.

Quite contrary to what some may feel, I rarely encounter Jesus in a church service, unless my sons are leading worship. That's a soul connection that I feel every time. There have been other times of worship where the presence of the Lord was so very present, like at the end of every Gaither concert, when 10,000 people are singing Just As I Am, as one voice. That's an amazing encounter.

But most of my 36 years spent knowing the Lord have been filled with encounters that were very personal, just me and Jesus. 

Some of the most memorable times I've felt his presence are when I'm alone in my car and I can pour out my heart to him and focus on hearing him. I've had a lot of revelations in my car, while praying. It's a safe space.

Other times have been in my home on a random day, walking around the house, opening curtains, coffee in hand, sun coming through the windows and just giving thanks for the blessings around me. I may put on worship music or I may not. Sometimes I do a "prayer walk" around the house, where I go from room to room, praying over our family and our home. Every now and then I will take a Sunday to myself, while David goes to church, and I will spend it in God's presence. There is something about a Sunday morning that just feels sacred and all the hustle and bustle of getting to church and greeting so many people, just aren't the connections I need at that time. I try to listen to what my soul is needing and many times, church is a distraction. Just being honest.

I used to be very legalistic (properly trained at church) and looked down upon those who would opt out on a Sunday, for time fishing alone or hunting or hiking, etc. Sundays were for church and church only...right?

But then you mature in your faith and you realize that our soul needs that time alone with Him and sometimes the only place to feel his presence is to get away from all the noise. 

I get it now.

What our soul craves, as believers, is His presence. It's the sweetest gift there is and it's not confined to a church service. It's not even confined to reading the Bible and nothing else.

Some of the greatest "aha" moments come from reading what someone else has been inspired to write and letting that enhance what you already knew or letting it teach you something you didn't know. God still inspires writers! So again...don't be legalistic about only reading scripture, when God does anoint people to teach and write and expound on his Word, in ways that will reach people. That being said, there is no substitution for having God's word hidden in your heart. 

If you were on that road to Emmaus (which, by the way, was a Sunday - resurrection Sunday), would your heart have burned as Jesus walked beside you? Would you have recognized his presence?

I can tell you this...I want to sit in his presence every single day. I want to be able to recognize it, feel it and come to expect it, even among the noise. But even more the sweet, still moments when it's just the two of us.

Those are the best times of all.

I hope you have a Christ-centered Sunday - wherever you've chosen to spend it.

Until Next Time...

Blessings 💛


  1. Lovely post. I am a firm believer that we can spend one on one time with our Savior anywhere at any time. Some of my 'best' moments have been in the still of the house or in the middle of my back yard. Nature and all our gifts give us reason to smile and praise. Life is just a joy when you realize you can have your God moments everywhere.

    1. Thank you, Cheryl. Thank you for sharing your thoughts today :)

  2. I very much long to be in God's presence. Which, as a Christian, I know He is always with me...but I long to feel His presence. Literally. To hear Him speak to me. You know what I mean. I used to try and take advantage of time alone in the car when I was working and commuting. But that always felt awkward to me. Glad you have had special times in the car. I also have not tried walking through the house and praying. Another great suggestion. Two of the most incredibly powerful times alone with the Lord were at the cemetery. I used to regularly go and sit there...beside our son's grave. God used those years of deep grief in some very special ways. I enjoyed your post today. Hope your Monday and week is off to a great start!!

    1. Jennifer, I can't imagine the grief, but I can relate to feeling the Lord is some of the hardest times. What a faithful Father we have.

  3. This was a wonderful reminder that we just need to be still and be in His presence! I've had a couple of those moments but they were moments where I felt a burden to pray for someone or a situation! I would love to have the mind that would clear and focus only on the Lord! I mean, I always have times where I feel God but to be able to just sit and listen...what a blessing that would be!

    Grace & Peace,

    1. Pam, focusing these days seems hard. I'm so glad the Lord goes with us and will meet us anywhere, anytime :)


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