Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "God Reveals His Presence"1 (Lyrics)
Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (NLT)
We all have them at some stage in our lives — situations that have the potential to test our faith. Many years ago when I was in elementary school, my parents and four siblings set out on our usual trip to the village to visit with grandparents and extended family. My grandmother's home was built on a hill surrounded by Mopani trees endowed with Mopani worms, a rich source of protein. My dad drove a Hillman that could just accommodate our family of seven on the 302-kilometre journey. As we branched from the main dirt road onto a rocky footpath that took us to the village, only my dad and the two youngest siblings would ride in the car, while my mom, older sister, brother, and I completed the last part of our journey on foot. Our arrival at the village homestead was always greeted with cheering and ululation.
On this particular visit, the car and its three occupants arrived, and my father got out of the car, but forgot to apply the handbrake. Before my two younger siblings could get out, the car began to roll downhill at great speed, leaving a trail of destruction, noise, and chaos. My dad ran after the car while my grandmother disappeared disoriented into the forest, too frightened to witness the drama unfolding before her eyes. We were all crying and screaming and imagining the worst, because there was a river at the bottom of the steep hill, and the car was headed in that direction. Suddenly, the engine ceased, the car abruptly stopped without explanation a few metres short of the riverbank, and all went quiet. The God moment came when we realized that my siblings in the car had escaped unscathed. We would later learn what was going on in my dad's mind as he prayed.
Ephesians 3:20-21 – Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (NLT)
As my dad appeared from among the trees, we noticed that he was bleeding profusely from a deep gash on his left leg. My mom attended to the bleeding and an uncle ferried him to the local clinic. A moment of inattention from my dad became our family's God moment, and we have shared this remarkable encounter with God's grace and faithfulness countless times.
Followers of Jesus should accept life's challenges or tragedies with grace and thanksgiving. God communicates with us in different ways, and sometimes, it takes such a dramatic event to renew or refine our faith. What my parents taught us is that in such difficult and incomprehensible situations, we need to hand everything over to God and allow Him to take over. I urge my readers always to acknowledge that God is in control and that we need to ask that His will be done, even when it is hard to accept our circumstances.
Prayer: Merciful God, we acknowledge Your infinite presence at all times in our lives. May we be constantly reminded of Your boundless grace and compassion. We ask that You would protect us from harm's way. We are thankful for God moments, because they present rare opportunities for us to pause and recount Your blessings. Amen.