What Happens When God Shows Up in a Special Way

The presence of God now brings hope for the presence of God for eternity.

Do you remember the last time God showed up unannounced in your life? Even though the Lord is everywhere always, occasionally He’ll show up in a unique way. This happened to me just a few days ago.

What Happens When God Shows Up in a Special Way

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

I headed to the mall to pick up some last-minute gifts. The traffic crawled along in the wet winter weather. Stuck at a stoplight behind a line of cars, I remembered that a few years ago I had purchased some songs from Celine Dion’s Christmas album.

“Hey, Siri,” I said, “play Celine Dion.”

The familiar melody of my favorite Christmas carol began. With traffic going nowhere, I had a forced moment of complete solitude, and I listened to an angelic voice singing words that resonated with the core of my being.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.

Then it happened. 

Nowhere to Go But Up

Maybe it was the painful memories the holidays often resurrect—with a family history as hurtful as my life is long. Perhaps it was the past year of struggling to start my own business after being laid off from the ministry where I served for 12 years.

Or maybe it simply was the brief solitude I found myself in at a red light—with nowhere to go but up.

Fall on your knees; O hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born.

Suddenly, the truth of the lyrics I heard worked their way from my ears to my heart, and I sensed the overwhelming presence of God with me.

It was an unguarded moment. Unplanned. Unexpected. Sudden. Surprising.

And desperately needed.

inside my carinside my car

(Photo: I snapped this photo to remember the moment.)

What Happens When God Shows Up

God’s overwhelming presence is not something you can manufacture or plan. Like the angels that appeared above the shepherds that night near Bethlehem, it’s unexpected. It’s His doing, not ours. 

There’s something about the presence of God that solves all problems. His overwhelming sense of power, love, acceptance, control. It puts us completely at ease.

He intends it to. 

Brief glimpses of the presence of God now give us hope for the moment we’ll see Him face to face—for the eternal now when we’ll never be without Him. When faith shall be sight.

Sometimes the struggle you’ve lived with for so long becomes white noise that distracts you from remembering that the presence of God will solve it all. The presence of God now brings hope for the presence of God for eternity.

The weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

I didn’t realize the need I had for the presence of God until I had it. How kind of the Lord to allow me a moment to close my eyes, to dry my eyes, and then to lift my eyes to Him in gratitude for His presence. A cold, wet traffic jam on the way to a crowded shopping mall. Normally, not a great experience.

But because God showed up, my car became a sanctuary.

Maybe this year He will come! We need to remember that His presence will solve it all.

Tell me what you think: Have you experienced God’s surprising presence before? Maybe in your car. Or with a walk in the woods? Or while listening to music? To leave a comment, just click here.

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  • teagustavsson

    So happy to hear this Wayne! I pray for more encounters this year for you!

    • Thank you for that prayer. I’d enjoy plenty more red lights and rain storms if God shows up! May He bless you this year as well.

  • Michelle thick

    I love them and wish he would show up everyday. It is an awesome feeling to know that he loves us so.
    God Bless
    Happy New Year

    • I do too, Michelle. But those rare moments are what makes them so special. God bless you.

  • John A

    Hey Wayne… I don’t know if “Well Done!” is an appropriate comment, but that’s what went through my mind when/after I read this. This was a great first-day-of-the-year piece for me. Thanks…

    • “Well done,” sounds like a great comment to me, John. Thanks! So grateful for you.

  • Gerry McD

    This really blessed my heart Wayne. Happy I made the decision to subscribe to your blog.

    Wishing you inner peace and a double portion of grace all this year and beyond.

    • Thank you, Gerry! I’m glad you subscribed to my blog as well, God bless you.

  • Valita R. Randolph

    I’m smiling! God is so good to us! I’m so glad that you had that precious moment and then shared it with us.
    Praying God’s blessings over you and your family. May He show you great favor this year.
    Love and hugs!

    • Thank you, Valita. Yes, it was a special moment– so rare! God bless you and yours this year.

  • Steve Cole

    What a wonderful story. Thank you Wayne. I pray the Lord continues to bless you abundantly.
    A blessed and Happy New Year to you Wayne.

    • Thank you, Steve. God bless you this year— and beyond. 🙂

  • Rick Deacon

    Praise God!!!

    • Yes indeed, Rick. Thanks and God bless you this year.

  • Ronita Jaffa

    Dear Wayne

    I was so moved by this blog and wanted thank you for your honesty and obedience in following the Holy Spirit’s timing.

    God’s Presence is something that I too long for and value. Twice now God showed up and I was reminded that He shows up; I can’t make Him. Therefore I am so grateful when He does – always to bless restore and heal.

    I am so sorry that you were laid off. But I wanted to encourage you not to give up on your business or whatever you are doing.

    I just wanted you know that you are not alone because God is with you but He has also placed your blog readers out here to support you.

    God bless and happy new year

  • Paulette Wenholz

    Happy New Year, Wayne. I was very drawn into your moment as you described how the words to the Christmas carol were so striking. I have had the very same experience many times while listening to that song. While reading your blog, it literally came to me as if I was right there in the car too. What you were expressing was so familiar. I love hearing about experiences of others and seeing things take place in my life that only God can do. As you say, His presence is tangible. It is such a blessing. My continual prayer is that God opens my eyes to see Him in all experiences of life.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and taking me right to that place.

    • Thank you, Paulette, for your gracious words. Those moments with the Lord are so precious— and too few! But I guess that’s why they’re so special. I’m glad you got to share the joy on my Christmas “visit”! Thanks.

  • Chary Horton

    God moments, Living/thankful moments/ and other examples of how God is present are increasing daily.
    Yes, I am continually reminded how close He is and that He is intervening in my life, and that of family /friends. Without a doubt, there are more blessings, interventions, and glimpses of Heaven, the older i get!

    • That’s so true, Chary. If we’re wiser as we grow older, we’ll see His hand so many, many places. Thanks.