Some of the things I used to do came to a halt after that happened. I haven’t ran nor done any exercise since I came back. Wanted to; brought my stuff along, but didn’t have enough motivation to do so I guess. So did my quiet time. I’ve been just reading through devotions on the bus, said a few prayers here and there, and that’s pretty much about it. That’s pretty much my state leading up to conference. Not prepared for it.
My prayer that morning? Meet me where I am, God. I know I’m not where I ought to be, where You probably would like me to be, but I can’t. Come and meet me where I am. You are a God who meets us where we are.
With his passing, and 3 weeks later, his sister’s, that felt like an opportunity for His adversaries to taunt, “Where is Your God?” While I don’t entirely understand why these happened, God’s grace has been sufficient for me to hold on to the promise that He is always here with me.
During worship in the first session, I called out to God. I needed to know that He is indeed Immanuel, that He is here with me, that He’s not a god I made up but He is the God who made me. At the same time, I’ve attended the church conference year after year, and this was the first time I was so distracted and not putting in much effort to be present. He’s good though – through the different sessions, I had hints that suggested that He heard me and that He was here. Yet I wasn’t satisfied; I asked that He show up in an undeniable way.
In the last session on Sunday, we were told to pair up and pray for each other. Beside me was an acquaintance that I just met on Saturday and – we didn’t even get each other’s names then. Anyway, so I prayed with her, and yeah done. Back to worship. Suddenly, she nudged me and said that she felt God wanted me to know something.
She started off with saying that God is pleased with my stability and steadiness, how I place Him first in my life. Half of me, to be honest, wondered if that was because she’s influenced by the way I spoke or prayed, because I really didn’t feel like I was living a life pleasing to God. The other half of me, out of reverence for God, decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. Until… She said that God also wanted me to know that He is with me.
He is with me.
I was moved by how, it seemed like, I was surrounded by noises everywhere and He screamed through to say that He is here. It’s as if He kept trying to reach out but I just couldn’t/wouldn’t hear, so He got an acquaintance to convey the message to me. The fact that He would even do that; that He cared enough to do that. His Presence brings immense comfort, knowing that I am not alone in these. Immanuel.
I was moved too, because these words are familiar; these words remind me of the God of my youth who spoke such words to me. It’s as though He was asking me, do you remember me? Yes I do, Lord.
Other things I gained through conference:
- Where is your compassion for people? Session 3 of the conference helped me see that the way this world is and the hurts and all, have made me jaded about people. I’m in this world, and yet kept my heart away from this world. Just getting by each day, and in fact shunning familiar situations (that previously turned nasty). Asking that God would soften my heart for people once again, and to love them the way He does. To allow what breaks His heart to break mine.
- A reminder that I’m not to be turning up at work just to get through each day, but that I am ordained to be there. Subconsciously, I have become distracted and just trying to accomplish what has to be done at work, for work itself. Reminder to keep my eyes on what matters.
- God seems to not be done yet. Kept a lookout for familiar faces during conference, especially that of the good friend but only bumped into her once – in fact she was the one who jumped on me. On the contrary, I kept bumping into someone else without any intention to – three times in two days to be exact. I didn’t even quite pay attention to these “coincidences” until the acquaintance I mentioned earlier on, introduced herself with that same name. I stunned for a moment. It’s the kind of “is God trying to be funny” moment. I’m wondering if He is saying He is not done yet. I said to Him, I have done whatever that needs to be done, but if there is still something to be done, then help me to see and obey.