For years I heard stories from people of faith about their glorious encounters with God, and their stories inspired me. Yet not having experienced such grand encounters, I began to believe my relationship with God was shallow, which made me feel guilty. During challenging times, I have clung to Scriptures that have given me peace. In fact, trusting God was the only resolution for some of those challenges. But when life returned to “normal,” I often wandered from that assurance.
Several years ago, I heard someone whom I thought had never wavered in her faith, pray aloud “Lord, help me believe my beliefs and doubt my doubts.” I realized then I had given more attention to hollow doubts than to firm beliefs. Focusing on God and His Word, I see Him more clearly in my life.
It makes sense to me that our relationships with Jesus are uniquely personal. I feel close to Him when reading Scriptures or devotionals that miraculously seem written just for me for that day and when praying with friends and family.
Amazing too are the times certain ladies have called at just the right moment with exactly what I needed to hear when they could not have known what was going on in my life. The thought that God would put me on someone else’s heart overwhelms me. But that is exactly what they say He did!
One of the ladies with whom I had not spoken in years called unexpectedly to check on us, not knowing that Richard was about to have surgery. She called again at just the right moment as we were with a grandchild in the emergency room. When I saw her name on my phone, I immediately felt a wave of assurance. Knowing God had put us on her heart gave me peace to believe He was hearing our prayers. Later when we spoke, she confirmed that the Holy Spirit had prompted her call.
Now that to me is a grand encounter! Only God could orchestrate those Divine Moments that have strengthened my faith more than I could ever describe.
It is often in ordinary ways through “ordinary” people that God lets me know He is with me and cares for me Divinely, and uniquely.
1 Corinthians 13:13
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
Leah and Richard Stimpson will celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary in June. They grew up knowing each other in Mobile and have loved Mobile as home for their children and now for six of their nine grandchildren. They enjoy trips to Birmingham to visit their daughter’s family. Life is busily blessed having seven grandsons and two granddaughters born within six years.