Seeking His Presence Now: Morgan
We walked into the same homeroom on the first day of high school. And Morgan has been my best friend ever since. There is something so sweet about friends who hold our histories without holding them against us. Morgan is one of those friends to me. She laughs harder and longer than anyone I know (which got us into our fair share of trouble in high school). She is brilliant and wise, but in a way that doesn't make her inaccessible. She is compassionate and loyal and honest. She can say those things that need to be said without ever being unkind. And she is just fun!Morgan loves the Lord with her whole heart--for real! And she makes me want to love Him more too. I'm so excited for you to get to hear from her. Her words are below...
I recently moved across the country, again. Yes, again. Three years ago I was teaching high school and middle school Spanish in Washington DC. Last year I was living in the great state of Texas, and now I am a full-time grad student in California.
It’s amazing how quickly life can change – how quickly the people and places that surround us become new and unknown. I find the newness exciting and terrifying. I am both full of hope and full of uncertainty. And sometimes, in the middle of another unfamiliar place, I begin to wonder if God has received my forwarding address.
Does He know where to find me? Does He know where I am?
Of course I am aware that God is not at all like Santa Clause or the US Postal Service. He is all-knowing and all-present. He promises to be with me – and in fact, His Spirit lives in me. He has gone before me, He is beside me, and He goes behind me. He doesn’t need me to submit a change of address form, and he certainly doesn’t need a chimney to find me. And while I know that He is already here with me, I often struggle to know how and where to enter into His presence.
In my short time in California, I’ve been struck at how creative our God is at meeting me in this new place – God has met me alone on morning runs, in crowds of people, in conversations with new friends and in interactions with family on Face-Time. I am confident that no matter where life finds me, no matter my circumstances, God longs to meet me. And He longs to meet you, too.
Twice now I have been to church in San Francisco, in a two-story middle school auditorium filled with people, and sat next to someone who went to college with me and graduated in the same year. Literally what are the odds? Did I mention that this happened two different times? Both were people that I hadn’t seen in over six years and didn’t know lived in California. One of them I didn’t even know in college. And both weeks, I walked away in awe of our God. He is mighty and sovereign, and He cares for me. He is big and capable. He always shows up. He can bring me into community with others, sit me next to old college classmates, and do so much more. How often do I fail to see how God is at work in my life? What if I were able to open my eyes to see His continual presence?
In the past few months, I have also had unexpected encounters with God in Face-Timing a family member who has a mental disability. I am reminded of Jesus’s words about children and the kingdom of heaven. Almost every time that I sit on the other side of the screen from a loved one who cannot use words to convey how he feels and who may not be able to understand the words I speak, I feel as if I am sitting at the feet of Jesus.
Often, when we video chat, his face lights up to see me. It doesn’t matter what I say or what I’ve have done. He is simply excited to hear my voice and see my face. I think God feels the same way. God just wants me to spend time with Him. He is overjoyed when I choose to meet with Him, just as I am. It is not about what I have to offer or about putting myself together for Him. God is thankful to hear my voice and to be with me – regardless of the grade I received on my exam, the outfit I have on, or the people I have met. I believe God just wants you to spend time with Him, too, just as you are.
Unfortunately, entering the presence of God is not always so easy for me. In fact, there are many moments and days that it feels impossible. It is not everyday that I encounter God through an interaction with a stranger in an auditorium or on the other side of a Face-Time call. But as I have begun to look around me and to listen more carefully for His voice, I have found Him to be faithful to speak. It is usually not in the ways and places I imagine, and He often doesn’t say what I hope to hear, but our God has been faithful to meet me. I pray this week that He is faithful to meet you, too –and that together we become increasingly aware of His presence, even in the mundane and unexpected places of life.