Many years ago, I got up during the night and walked into the living room. A stroll through our small house was not an unusual thing, except it was Christmas Eve.
It was a bright night; the air was clear, and the stars were shining. However, there was something very different about this night. The presence and glory of God filled the air.
I well remember feeling His amazing presence. It is a bittersweet memory that I carry with me. It is sweet because I can vividly remember what I felt at that moment. It is bitter because I didn't realize that with that presence was an invitation to sit and spend time with Him.
Thinking back to that moment, I wonder what our conversation would have been. You see, I was pregnant with our first child. Little did I know that she would be born with a tracheoesophageal fistula. I wonder if He was going to talk with me about that or if He had something else on his mind.
Maybe there would have been silence, and I would have just sat in His presence. So, it was bittersweet because I feel like it was an opportunity missed. However, I also know that God redeems and restores. He took that moment and powerfully etched it into the core of my being.
When God invades our lives, we have a choice to make in that very moment. We can choose to stay and linger in His presence, or we can choose to walk away. He does not force us to stay and have a conversation or spend time with Him, but He is always willing to spend time with us.
As I think back to that evening, I wonder, but there is no shame or commendation. When God brings things to our attention, it is always to grow us closer to Him. He loves us more than we can ever know.
Since that memorable night, 30 years ago, He has invaded my life many times, and I have learned to come to a full stop. I never want to cut time with Him short. Like Joshua, who would stay behind in the presence of the Lord (see Ex. 33:11) and linger there. We need to learn that abiding in the presence of the Lord is more important than anything else.
And if you are wondering about that baby who was born with the tracheoesophageal fistula. God loves to confound our outstanding, medical professionals, also. One week after her birth, the doctor walked in to talk with us shaking her head because nothing was making sense. God had healed that baby; the surgery was handled in heavenly realm rather than earthly realm.
Ruth Hendrickson is an ordained pastor, itinerant speaker, ministry trainer and board-certified biblical counselor who has extensive experience in the development, training and oversight of emotional healing ministry teams, recovery ministries, prophetic ministry, prayer ministries and women's ministry. In addition, she is a course facilitator for Patricia King Institute and Charisma courses. She writes for Elijah List and Charisma and has a podcast titled Real Truth with Ruth. Through biblically based teachings and practical applications infused with love and laughter, her goal is to introduce people not only to the living God who saves, but also to the God who desires an intimate relationship with each one of us. Her latest book Everyday Prophetic will help you find the prophetic voice that God has given you. Visit her website at ruthhendrickson.org and connect with her on Facebook at facebook.com/ruthhendrickson.org.
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