I have never had any trouble believing in God. The whole makes sense to me (as much as it can). I have simply had confidence in that fact all my life.
Every now and then I will get reminders that I am not alone. That God is hanging out with me, taking care of me in the day to day. A fellow church-goer once stated that God was always with him, even when he was cleaning the toilet. It is my opinion that God walks beside us through the everyday occurrences.
The story that often leaps to mind is a rather comical one. I was driving home after church. The message had not resonated with me. I was grumpy. I was frustrated. I was traveling down the same road that I always took. (Metaphor?)
Then, in the car ahead of me, something rather wacky happened. In the back-seat of a rather typical sedan, a cat jumped up, appeared to be attacking something in mid-air; claws and paws furiously batting about. Then it fell back down, out of view. It was like the world’s shortest puppet show was performed in that car. A furry, lively, and highly active jack-in-the-box sprung to life. Except, you know, much cuter and fluffier.
And I knew the amusing scene had played out for my benefit.
Things like that happen to me now and then, but never as much as I would like. God probably knows that if these instances happened too frequently, I would get used to them. They would lose their potency. Maybe God delights in getting my attention.
An event that happened this year took place while I was getting ready for bed. Once I am in bed, I am down for the night. If I am getting back out of bed, there better be a fire, vomit, or some emergency that actually warrants me being upright.
I felt a little nudge that I should pray. Okay, fine. I can pray while I am lying down.
No… you should probably kneel for this.
I do not kneel on a regular basis. I also do not look down or up when I pray. I figure if God wants me humbled, God will make it so. A lifetime of slippery hallways, bungled sentences, and awkward “Will you go out with me?” moments have proven that God has no qualms about humbling me. Kneeling feels like forcing things.
As I was thinking along those lines, quite comfy in my bed, the nudge came a little stronger.
C’mon. Just do it. You don’t even have to stand. Roll out of bed. Boom. The floor’s right there. Couldn’t be simpler.
I acquiesced. I almost went for the full-on kneeling/laying with my head touching the floor and all that. That felt unnatural, so I readjusted.
No need to go crazy-town. Over there. On the bed. Knees on carpet, shoulders on the bed; that’ll do just fine.
I do not know about yours, but sometimes my nudges are awfully bossy. Gentle, tolerant of resistance; but still bossy.
I should pause here to mention that I have become rather adept at feeling changes of pressure around me. I blame it on being around theatres with tight doors that create vacuums. If I pay attention, I can feel my cat walk by or someone entering through a door rooms away. People rarely surprise me when they try to sneak up on me because I can feel the air moving as their mass approaches. Not a terribly useful skill, but it came in handy this day.
I was kneeling towards the middle of the bed. There was a little room to the left of me, and a little room to the right of me. Because of that room, and because cats like to hop on beds when they are warm, I was not at all surprised when I felt my cat walking around on the bed to my right.
Except, when I looked, there was no cat there.
Okay, I said to myself. You misjudged the air pressure. It can happen. Just go back to praying.
There it was again I knew the last time had been a mistake. This time I knew my cat was next to me on the bed.
Except, when I looked again, there was no cat there. I looked at the gap between me and my bedside table. There was just enough room for somebody to kneel next to me.
I went back to praying. I felt a presence on the bed next to me. I just went with it. I finished my prayer, felt blessed, and went to sleep. (It was all very Samuel-esque.) I was alone in the room, but I had company too.
Having a God visit with you, right in your apartment? Not too shabby.
Before I did nod off, I made one quick check. Sure enough, my cat was conked out on the couch in the living room.
Yes, I believe that God was right there. That God took the time to be with me and that God would not have fit so conveniently if I had been lying down in bed like I had originally wanted.
And no, I did not hear any holy decrees. I was not told when the world would end, was not promised that I would become a sovereign leader, and was not granted the ability to see the future. I did not even get any lottery numbers.
What I did receive was a nice reminder that God is always around. Even in the boring stuff. Even in the troubling stuff. Even in the stuff that I have not told anyone about.
Others can believe whatever they wish. As for myself, I have seen too many acts of God to doubt. I know that God is around and accompanying us all the time.