Practicing the Presence of God

By: Jack McCall

 Jeremiah 17:7

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.

Recently I attended our national Christians in Commerce conference in Phoenix, Arizona. I was invited to lead a workshop titled "Practicing the Presence of God". Although I had participated in a number of our conferences, I felt excited about preparing the subject matter and about seeing many of the wonderful men and women who are involved in this marketplace ministry.

Wouldn't you know it, I came down with a cold one week before the conference, which threw me into a little tail-spin and cast a slight shadow over my enthusiasm for making the trip; poor me. Who gave me this cold anyway and where was the hedge of protection I had been praying for over the last couple of months? I know where the attack comes from and it usually shows up right before or during some grand opportunity to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Was my trust in the Lord slipping a bit? Possibly! At times, it can be difficult to remember that my trials (big and small) are faith builders and that they can help draw me even closer to God.

I arrived at the conference a couple of days early, but continuous coughing interrupted my sleep on both nights. Then, at the beginning of the event, we were asked to pray for a man who was stuck in his hotel room with a terrible case of the flu. We also prayed for our keynote speaker, who showed up despite having suffered a heart attack three weeks earlier. They asked who had traveled the farthest to get to the conference. Our president from Uganda smiled and stood up. No challenges for him. He had began the Visa process many months earlier, traveled half way around the world and came with only the clothes on his back, trusting in God's provision for the rest. Another man from Salinas, California had traveled by bus to the conference. Normally, I wouldn't think much about that, but he had only had enough money for a one-way ticket, trusting in God for a way back home.

In one way or another, the conference was challenging for all those who came. Personally, I was challenged by the material presented. More than that though, I was humbled by the practical evidence God used to demonstrate what real trust in him looks like. It gave me a good chance to see what it means to "Practice the Presence of God". Thank you, Lord.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Do my circumstances leave me consumed with self pity? Who are the people in my life that model trust in the Lord?