God's Abiding Presence

January 17, 2009
by Dorothy Forrester

Isaiah 40:31 – But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (NLT)

Have you ever experienced an earworm? As a member of our church choir, I often come home from church with the words of the current anthem, or a hymn that was sung during the service, tumbling about in my head. Often, those lyrics remain with me for several days, until some other song replaces them. Computer-savvy people call these little musical annoyances "earworms". Like the computer "worm", they hide in our brains, revealing themselves at the most unexpected moments. A recent experience reinforced my belief that God uses them to bring messages of hope, comfort, or unexpected joy, and He chooses when and where they will be revealed to us.

I was scheduled for a surgical procedure to replace a painful arthritic knee. Needless to say, I was dreading the operation, and entered hospital with a great deal of anxiety. Planted firmly in the subconscious part of my brain, however, were lines from the hymn based on today's Scripture. As I lay on a stretcher outside the operating room, waiting to be wheeled inside, the words persistently repeated in my consciousness.

    And He will raise you up on eagles' wings,
    Bear you on the breath of dawn,
    Make you to shine like the sun,
    And hold you in the palm of His hand.

      – by Michael Joncas

What a glorious comfort I experienced! My God was in control, and while the surgeon removed that painful knee joint, God would guide his skilful hands every step of the way. I could rest, anxiety-free, in the knowledge that I was being held in the palm of His hand, and I could leave all the worrying to Him. Praise the Lord!

Prayer: Loving God, thank You for the moments of serendipity You send us — when an unexpected message of joy from You comes flooding though our consciousness, allowing us to rise above our circumstances. We can only bow in humble gratitude when we acknowledge that You are the author and the source, and we give You all the praise and thanks. Amen.

About the author:

Dorothy Forrester <dorifor@cogeco.ca>
Cornwall, Ontario, Canada

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