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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Learning to see God in everything around you

Friday, March 25, 2011

Several years ago I visited a church where the pastor challenged the congregation to break into groups and answer this challenge: "Prove God." Oh, yippee! I thought. While we're at it, why don't we have a relay race so I can be the last one chosen? Cliques formed quickly, no one chose me, and my middle school days reared their ugly heads once again.

The old nature was primed to let the entire congregation have it: "YOU OBVIOUSLY DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER SINCE YOU OBVIOUSLY DON'T HAVE THE LOVE OF CHRIST IN YOU OR SOMEONE WOULD HAVE ASKED ME INTO THEIR GROUP." Fortunately I squelched (Thank you, Jesus) the old nature's beckoning and instead politely invited myself to join the group across the church aisle. Lucky for them, they let me in.

After ten minutes, the pastor approached two groups. "Because the Bible says so," was the first response. "And how do you know the Bible is true?" he queried.


The next group answered "because my heart tells me so," to which the pastor replied, "And does your heart ever lie?" BUSTED!

How does one prove God? How do you know that you know that you know Him? We could discuss evolution vs. creation here; we could analyze the miracle of the human body; we could even delve into emotions and feelings; but many, much more intelligent than I, have written brilliant books on those subjects. My proof is personal.

I have met God. And if you're a Christian, so have you.

Sometimes I don't realize it until after-the-fact, and sometimes I dismiss Him as "coincidence," and sometimes I ignore His gentle whisper, but I know that I know that I have met Him...on more than one occasion.

I met Him in a church in Cleveland, Ohio, back in 1976, when He introduced me to His son.

I met Him on my front porch after my brother died.

I met Him when my friend Marcy dropped by for a chat.

I met Him when I fell asleep at the wheel while driving 70 m.p.h. two years ago.

I met Him when our sixteen-year old son was burned in a bonfire accident, and I met Him when my grandkids were born.

I meet Him when I direct a play and watch fledgling actors overcome their fears.

I meet Him when I smile and some hurting soul smiles back...or when she doesn't.

I meet Him in the kitchen early in the morning as we share a cup of coffee, and I meet Him in the prayer e-mails that keep our church secretary over-whelmed, and I meet Him when my children fail to send me a birthday card (although then, not as much).

He is everywhere I go and involved in everything I do.

He is Grace in action.

Does that mean I always recognize His presence? Oh, my! No. Sometimes I'm too busy or frustrated or tired or selfish (lots of selfish) to recognize Him when He extends His invitation to draw close to me.

But He is there. In every believer's life. And it's the sweetest meeting we could ever want. Some of us just need to want it like He does.

A little more desperately.

Patty LaRoche
Patty LaRoche: Face to Face