Thankful: God makes His presence known

Then the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire within a bush. As Moses looked, he saw that the bush was on fire but was not consumed. So Moses thought: I must go over and look at this remarkable sight. Why isn’t the bush burning up?

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called out to him from the bush, “Moses, Moses!”

“Here I am,” he answered.

– Exodus 3:2-3

Today I am thankful that God makes His presence known to me.

Moses was a man on the run, looking to escape his past and a death sentence. His flight led him to the land of Midian, where he attempted to start a new life, under the radar. Moses shook off all vestiges of his formal royal position, and spent his time in the wilderness watching over sheep.

As hard as he tried to sidestep his identity and cover up his sins, God saw it all. God had chosen Moses, and was working to reveal Himself and His redemptive plan, for Moses and for the Hebrew people.

So, while Moses was out shepherding, God set a bush on fire to get his attention. The flames radiated within the bush but did not consume it. Moses was drawn to this remarkable and miraculous sight and set out for a closer look. When he was within hearing distance, God spoke, calling out to Moses by name.

God meets us where we are. He reaches into our situations, and our escape plans, to make His presence known. He shows up at our jobs, in our homes and in our cars to help us change course and follow Him. God knows our hidden thoughts and fears and pain, and steps in to get our attention.

Just as God set a bush on fire, he also uses events and circumstances to draw our eyes toward Him. He wants to share words of hope and promise. God is doing what is necessary to draw our gaze and cause us to take another step toward Him. He is speaking our name, calling out for us to come.

Moses found himself on holy ground, conversing with the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.

God not only works to make His presence known, He intends for us to live IN His presence. God wants us to grasp hold of who we are in Him, and live out our calling in His strength.

We just have to start with “Here I am.”

Thankful: God seeks me

So (Jesus) left Judea and returned to Galilee. He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.”

– John 4:3-7

Today I am thankful that God seeks me.

On Jesus’s travels from Judea to Galilee, Scripture says “He had to go through Samaria on the way.” Most Jews would have gone the long way to avoid the Samaritan people, who they found contemptible. Instead, Jesus was filled with compassion, and set out to meet a woman who desperately needed love and freedom only God could give her.

Jesus came a long way to meet this woman. He made sure He and the disciples arrived at a well at just the right time. Scripture says Jesus was tired and weary, but He was ready to transform lives. Jesus intentionally sought this particular woman out, a woman who was suffering under the weight of the town’s rejection and gossip, beneath the burden of her many sins. He asked her for a drink, even though He intended to give her living water.

God had it all arranged. From before time, God had pictured this moment, set in motion every detail, and loved this forsaken Samaritan and all those the story of her experience with Jesus would impact.

God seeks us, too. He places circumstances in our path that will ultimately lead us to encounter His grace. He wants to meet with us, talk with us, and change us.

So often, we think that WE are the ones coming to God or returning to Him, when HE has been seeking us and pursuing us all along. It was God who created us. Jesus stepped out of Heaven and set aside His glory for us.

As Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.” His cross demonstrates the lengths God went to do just that.