A few nights ago I was travelling homeward in the car. As I approached Edinburgh, ahead of me I could see the city lights.
Two in particlular are very familiar to me. They are the red lights that top off two masts high on Corstorphine Hill. This land mark I can see from my home, and at night it is usually the first one I identify as I draw near the city, from whatever direction I aspproach.
Though there was no fog this time, there was no moon either, so even with its massive bulk, the Hill was invisible. Nevertheless, there, proud and bright, were the two red beacons.
Even massive things may pass beyond our vision. The sun goes behind a cloud; a great ocean liner sails over the horizon. But there is no reason for us to suppose that they no longer exist, simply because we cannot perceive them with our senses. Corstorphine Hill had not crumbled once darkness fell! I could tell that much, because the beacons marked it’s height.
Of course, while it is easier to experience the closeness of God when we are praying or reading the Bible, there are times when God may seem very far away; days when we appear to see nothing of him. But he is still there. We just need to look for the beacons, the events that mark his presence and care.
- The phone call from friend that came as you were feeling a bit lonely
- The lost item that turned up just in time
- The book mark you “just happened” to find in an old volume, and which quoted a Bible verse or motto which helped you see things straight
- The kind thoughtfulness of a neighbour
- The simple faith of your child
- The inspiration of another life
- The glory of a sunset
- A safe journey, without incident or harm
- And so I could go on…
In so many ways, some obvious and some subtle, God indicates his love and care for us. When I realized that knowing God was with me was not necessarily the same as feeling his presence, I began to make an effort to detect God’s beacons every day. There is always something that marks his presence.
Now I don’t need to see the beacons to know he is there. But it’s become a habit and it certainly turns my thoughts Godward in awe and gratitude.
When did you last see a beacon of his presence with you?
Will you join me in looking for at least one, every day, and thanking God for it, however small?