God's presence can be seen daily if you just look around
This column, although I’m sure you won’t know the person I am talking about, hopefully will remind you of someone in your life that has helped you through some tough times by focusing you on the things that matter.
I received an email from the church we belonged to in Fayetteville. In it was a message from the associate pastor, David Gira, stating that he had been called to serve as the lead pastor in a church in Raleigh. I was so elated at the news that I couldn’t wait to send him my congratulations.
But then it hit me. This man deserved more than my congratulations. This man deserved my sincere thanks and a bunch of other things that money can’t buy.
David Gira is best explained this way. He is young, charismatic, has a bunch of fun teaching the word of God, loves people genuinely and is always ready to help out when needed. He started many projects that led other churches in the area to join, and he was always looking for a way to brighten your day.
Well, that’s when David and I really got to know each other. One day, about eight months after my accident, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I had to know more about how to deal with this tragedy that had happened, not only to me, but to my entire family.
So, I called him on the phone and asked if I could come over to the church and talk. He gladly cleared his calendar off immediately, and I went to his office.
What happened next was astonishing for me. I began to tell him how I felt. How angry I was, and how down I was that I couldn’t, and would never be able to do things the way I had in the past. He just sat there and soaked it all in. When I asked him what it all meant, he said these few words to me. “No matter how bad things get, God is always there – you just have to look for him a little harder in times like these.”
I didn’t understand what he was talking about. I knew God was in my life, so I pushed a little. And, his answer is one that sticks with me every day of my life. He said, “No, Jeff, I mean you can see God in your life every day if you look for him.”
Ever since that conversation, more than two years ago, I still see God every day. I saw him the other day as I was pulling out on the street, and a bus that read, “It’s all about Jesus” pulled out in front of me. I was in a hurry, so I was going to beat the bus. Good thing I didn’t, because it was God in front of me.
There have been numerous other examples of such things happening, and I think of David each time. You see, not only did David save my life, but he opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking for God — a simple way in today’s world.
And you know what the neat thing is? I have seen God every day since. It is the most amazing thing. It may be late in the day when I see something that triggers it, or it may be the first thing I see on my way in to work. It just happens. And, when it does, it makes my spirit soar with excitement and joy that he has chosen to show himself to me once again.
Without David Gira in my life, I truly don’t know where I would be today. When I was spending time with him – and I did so quite often – trying to figure out what God had planned for me, he kept assuring me that God was there. That all I had to do was look for him. And, that God would always be there to hold my hand if needed.
I thank God every day for bringing David into my life. He is going to make a great pastor at the church in Raleigh. They are lucky to be getting a guy who cares so deeply about other human beings. And, I will be praying that he, too, continues to see God every day as I do.
So go ahead and try this out. Look for one thing a day that demonstrates that God is here and in your life. It can be anything. A sign, a bus, a child asking you a question about God. Many, many things can reveal God’s presence to you.
You just have to look for them.
And then, let your spirit soar!