Randall P Garretson
Where was God?
I have been doing a lot of reading lately and most of the material I am reading is causing me to examine myself on a deeper level than I have ever done before. There is a work that God is doing within me that is preparing me for the next big thing He has in store for me. A small component of the “thing” He has for me is to continue my writing. He wants me to start up my blogging again and continue to work on my book. Yes, I said book. This morning He said, "Why don't you blog this encounter?" My response with not having any excuse not too, said "Ok!" So here I am.
Today, during my reading, I was asked a question “When was the time you most felt God’s presence?” As I began to think about it, immediately all the times that I was in the darkest and most hopeless moments in my life, He was there. We often don’t see Him when we are so deeply focused or entrenched in our troubling situation but as I examined myself, I recalled two of those dark times where I felt his presence the strongest. They were times when the air was so saturated with His spirit that it now turns those difficult times into more memorable ones because He was there as my Father walking me through those situations.
The first moment that came to mind was back seventeen years ago when I was so disgusted with people, because of their betrayal and the deceitful experiences in my life. I remember feeling completely lost, alone and at one of the most hopeless points in my life. It was God, the restorer who was there listening, comforting, and speaking. He tolerated my anger, my attitude, my disrespect towards His children (all people) and my choice of lifestyle to sedate the pain I was experiencing. It was God who masterfully aligned the pieces to bring me and my wife together, whom was and is the greatest blessing from Him in this chapter in my life. A woman who was Jesus in the flesh to me, in a time that I needed Him most. He saved me from becoming someone I am not.
Psalm 34:18 - The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
He restored my life, replacing everything in it one hundred-fold more than I could ever expect or imagine. Without hitting rock bottom, and without the journey through this dark moment in my life, I would not be the man I am today. It was the lessons I learn through it, the God I discovered in it, the father I found from it, the sonship I recognized that I had, that make me thankful for the difficult times in my life. It seems odd to say but I wouldn’t change a thing in my past because of how close it brought me to the God. It is the storms (troubles and challenges) in life that make us stronger and more able to weather the next storm with greater wisdom and faith, because there will be more storms.
Jeremiah 12:5 says, “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan?
The second moment that came to mind had been building for many years but was three years ago when things started intensify. I was unhappy in my work situation, and I had a burning desire to return to entrepreneurship like I had back twenty-five plus years ago. During ownership of my first business, I had a lack-for-nothing freedom that I missed so desperately. At that time I was using the creativity God gave me and the work was flowing non-stop until one day I thought the grass was greener on the other side of life and I became discontent with what I had, and somehow lost my identity. The image I pursued was a lie that I believed in and over the course of twenty years I discovered that I had sacrificed who I was by chasing that lie. Again, it was God speaking to me in a series of dreams, through people and in my readings where He was showing me the path to restore my dream. He truly wants the best for his children. The battle became intense when fear overcame me as I waged the consequences making a decision and the choice of money and position being my security rather than God himself. Everyone saw success in me but myself. Once again God ever so masterfully pieced things together where even I could not deny that I needed to take the risk in where He was leading me. Faith conquered my fear. It was a gift He was handing me. I could only explain it as if I were a little child giving up on all fear and just jumping into the pool because that is where my father was, and He was saying, “Son jump in, I am here for you and it will be so much fun.” So I jumped, and started my own business again.
If there is one thing I can promise you, no matter what it is you are facing, you will get through it, and it will be “Good” if God is your Father.
Romans 8:28 - God works all thing together for the good of those who love him.
Faith and taking a risk on God is the most exciting thing in my life to me, I am not saying it is always easy but, it ALWAYS turns out exciting. Surrender to what He is asking or showing you to do and you will find so much peace, joy, and happiness on the other side. Why wait any longer?
So where was God?
He was and is always there. Yet it was during the darkest times of my life that I felt his presence the strongest. He will never abandon us nor forsake us.
Where was God in your life that you felt His presence the strongest?