Some people think that God can only be present in a church, and others think the only place they can find Him is outside of the church. I’m here today to tell you that both of those are incorrect. God can be found anywhere–in the church and outside of the church. In fact, this past weekend I found him in many more places besides the church.
The action started Friday night when we traveled to our older son’s college to see the show he was going to be in. He had talked about this for months and had asked us to make a point of coming. So, my husband, younger son, and I piled into the car right before 4:00 to drive down to his college. It is usually a trip of under two hours, but it took two and a half because of all the traffic on the interstate. We were going so slowly at one point that I despaired of getting there on time. But, we passed the accident that was blocking traffic and were able to start driving at a more normal speed. We made it to the college shortly before the program started and found our seats. No time for dinner, of course, but I ate a candy bar and was fine. I was excited. I hadn’t been to a show like this in a long time. Before long, I was tapping my toes and having the time of my life. My husband had his arm around me, and we were enjoying our time as a family. The songs weren’t Christian; in fact, most of them were unfamiliar. That didn’t bother me though. We were spending time together as a family with none of us having any responsibilities, and I could feel God’s presence around us. It was fun. There were several solos, and there were three shows put on by the social clubs. Our son was in the last show, and the group did a wonderful job. In fact, all of the clubs did. After the show was over, we saw our son to congratulate him, ran an errand for him, and got some dinner before getting back on the road to our hometown. It was amazing! Even the journey back in pitch black darkness held God’s presence. I got to witness His amazing creation as we spoke of the show, and everything that had happened. A good time was had by all.
The next day consisted of sleeping in and then running errands. Just normal things. We had planned on sleeping in since we knew we wouldn’t get in until late the night before. As we rode to our first errand at a local store, I saw the blueness of the sky and the puffy white clouds. I felt a calmness of spirit I hadn’t had in a while. God was present in the normalcy of life. We finished our errands and went back home. I was able to get some lesson planning done and to take a nap that afternoon. A calm and relaxing day.
I didn’t feel calm and relaxing the following morning. Sundays are usually busy and frantic for us during baseball season. Couple that with feeling like I needed to put on my standard shields of pretending like everything was wonderful, and I was not in a good place. At least I wasn’t until I got a text from my husband who had left for church early to work on the sound board. He said that someone was waiting for me and was looking forward to seeing me. In fact, two people were–the young children of his colleague on the sound board and two of my favorite people. They always greet me with excited hugs and have the purest joy. That’s what I like about being around young children. There’s no pretense with them, and there’s no pretending. I played with them until Bible class and we all went our different ways. After class, I went to get them as their mom was working that day, and they sat with me during worship service. I saw God’s presence during the sweet time I spent with them even when I helped them with communion.
I took them to children’s worship shortly thereafter and went back to listen to the sermon. My attention drifted because I was still thinking about my time with the kids. The relationship I have with them contains an honesty that I think God wants to have with us. But we, being adults, think we have to be guarded around our Christian brothers and sisters. At least, I do. Not sure about you, but I’m betting nine times out of then, you probably think the same thing.
Anyway, after the service, I got to minister to a friend of my mine who has a family member with health problems. Two other friends came up, and we were all sitting and talking. The prognosis doesn’t look good, and she was struggling. I told her I would pray, and we all told her that God would meet her family member wherever she was, that it didn’t have to be in church. God is everywhere, not just in church! I could feel God’s presence in that situation too.
And finally, I went to my younger son’s baseball game. He plays in a high school rec league in our city, and yesterday, we had the opportunity to play in a historic ballpark. Every time we have been there, I feel like I have been transported back in time. I took pictures and had the chance to relax while I watched the game. I enjoyed getting to be outside in God’s creation. This was where I especially felt God’s presence. He ministered to me where I was, and it didn’t matter that I had not been in a church for most of the weekend. God is everywhere, not just in church, and I pray you feel His presence today.
God’s blessings on all of you!