I always knew growing up (and was told) that God cares about us and loves us. This was, for me, something I thought to be true, but hadn't really fully experienced, at least not that I had any clear memory of outside of managing to miraculously avoid typical day to day problems.
I had been saved since I was about 8 years old and always thought I had a pretty good relationship with God. Then, life happened (just like it does to so many other people) and I, little by little, found myself walking away from Him. I never meant to do so, but each time I did, I found my self struggling with everything, feeling discontent, and nothing seemed to feel right. This (thanks to the Lord) fortunately created a signal for me that made me realize what had happened, so I would recognize it and eventually make my way back to God, trying to start all over again, feeling much better about things.
That said, no matter how many times I had gone back to Him, it seemed as if I always managed to (little, by little) walk away from Him eventually again, and again...It seemed nothing would stick and keep me consistent. The very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results...This is exactly what I was doing and I not only couldn't figure out why, but didn't know how to stop it from happening
I struggled each day with so many things and I still maintained that "I would get it right tomorrow, etc...". However, "tomorrow" never seemed to come. I was trying to control everything / run everything on my own and failing miserably until about 2 years ago when considering taking a really good job opportunity (that appeared out of the blue) that would force me to move away from everything I had known throughout my life.
The thought of uprooting my family was more than I could deal with, but I knew I needed to consider the position as I felt something (or someone) telling me to...I truly didn't know what to do and was very torn about the subject.
It was during this same time that I was sitting at home one night and watching American Idol with my family stressing out about all of this confusion, that all of the sudden, I got "woken up". A christian singer (Colton Dixon) made a guest appearance on TV and played a new song he had just released titled "Love has come for me" and all of the sudden, I realized that God was speaking to me directly through this singer...I know it sounds strange, but there was no disputing it in my mind....The Lord hit me with some words that made my hair stand on end and gave me such an overwhelming sense of love and warmth, that before I knew it, it was everything I could do to hold back the waterworks (tears). I had never in my life experienced such love and kindness...It was incredibly humbling to think that God would care this much about someone as "insignificant" as me...Even today, I still can't even begin to explain the feeling...It was absolutely incredible!
From this point, I really felt for the first time that God was there for me...It was as if He was with me at all times and it was so awesome!!! I spent, from that point forward, lots of time praying and asking for guidance, focusing (for the first time) on His will for my life.
As more time went by, this job opportunity became more real and all of the sudden I was being asked to go to a second (in-person) interview...Things with this new opportunity were now getting serious and because I knew that God was with me, I increased my time with Him. I wanted to make sure that "I" wasn't pursuing this position without Him wanting me to. Unintentionally, I was praying so much during that time, that I had developed a somewhat repetitious prayer (I would repeat daily). The prayer was as follows;
So another week had gone by and all of the sudden, I found myself in a hotel room the night before my interview and again feeling sick to my stomach at the thought of uprooting my life and leaving everything I knew behind. That said, I also knew (at this point) that God had this situation under control and He obviously knew things I did not...This same night I remember telling the Lord that I was doing this interview for Him and that I would do whatever he needed me to do and go wherever He needed me to go.
As things wound down for the evening and I read God's word (the book of John), and said my nightly prayer (the same repetitious one I mentioned earlier) , I went to bed knowing that God would take care of things.
That morning, I woke up, got ready to go to the interview, and found myself sick to my stomach again and feeling like this was quite a leap of faith for me to take. Therefore, as usual, I started praying again.
As my wife and I left the hotel room and started walking down the corridor to the elevator, I noticed a rather disheveled older man standing by the elevator. This man appeared to be clean and groomed, but something was different about him,....It was as if he just didn't belong. This man was very tall (I would guess about 6' 8" or so) and his pants were too short, you could see his mis-matched socks, and his shirt looked turned and didn't fit him right...Kind of like he wasn't really sure of how to dress...I actually found it kind of humorous.
As my wife and I approached this gentleman at the elevator, all of the sudden he turned to me (keep in mind, I had never seen this individual before in my life) and said, "You going on an interview?". I think it's important to understand that I was in a hotel that accommodated many well dressed professionals, like myself and there was no way he could have known that I was interviewing. That said, I told this man "Yes, I am going to an interview". He then put his hand out to me to shake my hand and said, "Hello, my name is John" with a big smile (I remember thinking, "That's interesting....I had just been reading out of the book of John the night before"). He then shook my wife's hand as well. My wife and I introduced ourselves and we got into the elevator.
The man then followed us into the elevator, stood in between myself and my wife, and as soon as the door closed, he immediately said to both of us "Please take my hand and say a prayer with me". I was really amazed at this point and thinking, "what is going on here?"...My wife found it strange too, but that's not the best part....The AHA moment
The gentleman in the elevator began his prayer by asking for the Lord to guide me through this interview and then stated the following;
The gentleman, once finished with his prayer (still holding my hand), looked at me, smiled and winked, and said "How's that for a 30 second prayer?".
Then the elevator door opened up to a long narrow hallway (without hallway exits) and he walked out of the elevator and then my wife and I walked out of the elevator. When my wife and I walked out of the elevator, the man (John) was no where to be found (in either direction of the hallway). Keep in mind, this was a long hallway without exits and he only got out of the elevator about 2 seconds before us.
He stated the same repetitious prayer I had just prayed the previous evening and many other evenings, This was absolutely an angel from God that had come to provide me assurance of God's plan for me and to let me know that I have His protection and that my prayers had been heard. The amount of love I felt in that elevator was so overwhelming that I found myself choking back the tears, yet again...I love our Lord...His kindness, compassion, and love is too incredible for words.
I had heard of these kind of stories before, but had never experienced it. I truly understand now how incredible it is and I feel incredibly blessed to have been given such an awesome reassurance from God. He is our best friend and He loves you more than you will ever know. It's humbling and amazing and very REAL!
As a result of following God's will, I ended up getting the job and am amazed at what's happened since!
I have not only gained tremendous experience in my field, but also have met (for the first time) solid christian friends, a church home, a fantastic relationship with my wife, my daughter becoming saved, and it also lead me down a path that included the creation of this website! This has all occurred in the course of only two years...What's next!?!?!? Whatever it is, I have definitely learned my lesson and I know that I will be following God's lead in my life going forward.
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