#93 Simple Confirmation

 Photo by Lucas Wiman

There was a time in college when I prayed that if God was really personal and active in the world, that He would speak to me. I did this every day for two weeks. Every time I prayed, it felt like He said, “I love you.” I wasn’t impressed or convinced it was God. I thought I was making up those thoughts on my own. 

One day, after about two weeks of this happening every day, a man stopped me on my way to class. I don’t even remember his name; we didn’t really know each other. He asked if he could pray for me. I said sure. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “God, I thank you that you speak to Austin, even if it’s something as simple and profound as to tell him You love him.” 

He walked away without confirmation that his prayer was profound. He probably thought what he prayed was as generic and unimportant as what I thought I was hearing over the past couple weeks. But, as he walked away, I stood with my mouth open, completely astonished. 

That experience created a snowball effect in my life of allowing God to speak. It eliminated a lot of doubt in my heart and mind.

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.

#47 Three Times In Three Hours

Photo by Nicole Tarpoff

Something very curious happened to me several years ago when I was traveling by myself for a work assignment. While eating dinner alone at a restaurant, I was catching up on some reading in Jan Karon’s At Home in Mitford. I read about the main character, Father Tim, preaching a sermon on the verse in the Bible, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances.”

When I got to my hotel room, I turned on the television and Joyce Meyer was preaching a sermon on 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances.”

Later that night I talked to my son on the phone and asked him how his day went at school. At that time he attended a Christian school and he told me that they had a speaker that day who had spoken on the verse in the Bible that says we are to give thanks in all circumstances.

Now I had heard it three times within the span of three hours! This seemed like too much repetition to be a coincidence. I felt that God was sending me a clear message. In the months that followed, a tragedy occurred in our family and I needed that message of gratefulness in all situations. I clung to that verse and tried to find something to be thankful for each day, even on the worst days.

God knew what was to come and He prepared me in advance. Intentional thankfulness was challenging but helped me get through the terrible situation as it unfolded. I began to look closely for something to be thankful for each day and there were always many things. Eventually, practicing gratefulness became a habit, and I am now a more positive and happier person overall because of it—because of God’s message to me.  Three times in three hours can’t be a coincidence. God knows even the hairs of our head. God knows what is about to unfold in our lives and just what we need to help us. God sustains us in tragedy. Praise be to our God who loves, sustains and provides for us and for his holy Scriptures that nourish ours souls and guide our daily steps.

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.