Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Could It Be?

I recently returned from a mission experience in Guatemala. Inevitably after each of these trips I hear similar feedback and comments. One thing that people often ask is "why is it that I sense God's presence more in Guatemala than I do when I am at home in the States?" People also say things like "it seems like I can actually see God working here in a way that I don't see back home".

Is God more present in a third world country than He is in the U.S.? According to the Bible the answer is a resounding "NO!" God is omnipresent which means He is in all places at all times. So why is it that time and again people feel like this?

I am reminded of a story in the Bible where Jacob had a dream and encountered God. When he awoke he said "Surely the Lord is in this place and I was unaware of it." (Gen. 28:16) Could it be that as it was with Jacob, the Lord is actually "in this place" and we are simply unaware of it?

But what would make us more aware of His presence in a place like Guatemala as opposed to here?

Well, there are a few things that are different in Guatemala. First of all there is no television available to us. We have no access to the Internet and only limited access to a phone while we are there. We are not driven by time and our days are consumed with serving others and spending time in community as well as corporate worship and prayer.

Could it be that the reason we are able to see and sense God more during times like this is because we have less to distract us? Could it be that in some ways many of the "blessings" we enjoy have become a form bondage that keeps us from seeing and experiencing God in a deeper way?

Could our experience or lack thereof really have more to do with our own personal choices than God's presence being stronger in one particular place than another? Could it be that it is God's desire for us to experience Him in this way on a regular basis?

What a tragedy it would be if day in and day out "the Lord was in this place" and we were simply unaware of it.