Alvin tells a story about a time when he was in one of those first class lounges in the airport, waiting to board his next flight. Wearing his ever-present Walkman, he settled back with a favorite music tape and became overwhelmed with the presence of the Lord.
He was so powerfully overtaken with a realization of God's faithfulness to him and his family that he began to weep-right there in public!
Not wanting to miss the moment but conscious that he was creating a scene, he got the bright notion that he could continue to worship the Lord privately if he just held up a magazine so no one would notice.
It was a great idea, but after several minutes of tearfully whispering his thanks and praises to the Lord, he noticed that no one in the room had been the least bit fooled. They knew he couldn't possibly be reading the magazine. It was upside down!
Maybe your spontaneous encounters with the Lord haven't been as humorous as Alvin's, but I hope you never lose the memories of those moments when, as Joy Strang puts it, "light came into the room."
I can remember an encounter of my own that occurred many years ago when I lived in New York City. I was taking the subway to work one morning, and like nearly everyone else who rides the trains there, I was reading.
I was poring over "Hinds Feet on High Places" by Hannah Hurnard when I stumbled upon a precious heart-penetrating truth. It was as though Jesus whispered it in my ear.
There in the midst of that noisy subway car, filled with a mass of weary commuters, God opened the heavens to me. It was during rush hours, so the train was packed, but I was aware of no one's presence but His.
Suddenly, that grimy, crowded train became totally quiet as God filled it with the light of His glory and ministered His love to my soul. How wonderfully surprising it was that He would do that for me!
Yes, I know He's always there, but if you've ever had an experience similar to Alvin's and mine-what Pat Chen refers to in her book "Intimacy With the Beloved" as a "holy visitation"-you know these special moments are charged with a greater awareness that the God of the universe has interrupted everything to communicate with YOU, He may have broken through to give you needed directions, to prompt you to intercede or simply to say, "I love you."
How much we miss when we bypass those whisperings of the Spirit of God that often come when we're too busy or too tired! Whatever we need to do, let's make room in our lives for more "God-encounters."