by Carla Wicks
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. James 1:17-18 NASB
I’ve learned in life to give thanks in the good and the bad times. One is easier and full of joy, the other is a sacrifice we offer through pain.
My first-born son, Paul, was twenty-one and in the US Navy at the time of his death. I flew to Reno, Nevada and the accident site, to see him before they proceeded with organ donation surgery.
The walk down the hallway of the Medical Center to his ICU room was one I will never forget. Nothing prepared me for standing at his bedside, as he lay there strapped to more tubes and mechanical devices than I thought possible. The sounds amplified in my head. I stroked his arm and face and longed for his eyes to open; for this to be a horrible bad dream. As I stood there saying my goodbyes, I didn’t see any way this could ever work for my good or how I could thank the Lord. My son, so full of promise, was gone. I kissed his face as my tears wet his pillow. I left that room with a huge hole in my heart.
Fast-forward twelve years. One morning as I sat alone in my kitchen, my mind drifted to Paul and how much I still missed him. I got defiant with the Lord and demanded to know what possible good I would see from this huge void in my life. While I was grateful for my other children, I was missing him terribly. I begged the Lord to hear Paul’s voice one more time, see his smile, know he was doing fine. I closed my eyes and all I felt was darkness. I struggled to find the light anywhere. I was about to open my eyes when I got this sensation on my cheek, just a hint of a touch. Then a few words in my heart, a whispering, “I am here, this close, and have every tear you have shed.” And the darkness vanished.
I cried. The whole experience left me in awe and in peace. I’ve had many a conversation with God and know without a doubt this one special moment was for me. I got to experience his presence. I demanded He meet me, and he was faithful. While I never condone demanding of the Lord there are times when we want a taste of his glory so bad, we get bold.
Since then I have been even more grateful than before. I live with an attitude of gratitude because I know it pleases Him. Every time I read the account of Moses and his experience seeing the backside of the Lord from the cleft of the rock, I remember that touch on my cheek. To this day I can’t adequately describe it to anyone. I knew in that moment I had God’s assurance that he knew the depth of my pain. It was all I needed to carry on, blessing others and telling them the most important truth they will ever hear this side of heaven. God is closer to you than you think, and he walks with you every day.
I have been given wonderful gifts as we read about in James 1:17-18. God is consistent. Our job: Live by His message of truth to show the world His goodness and love. When I look at the world and the hardships many endure, I am so blessed.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Carla is a USAF Veteran, retired Dental Hygienist, Gold Star Mother and homeschool parent. Her new book, That Still, Small Whisper, teaches others how to identify “whisperings” from the Lord. She wants to grow a world-wide community of Whisperers. Her most recent works include a self-published novel, “Summer at Eagle Crest Drive”, and she co-authored “The Potluck Club-the play”.
Join the conversation: Have you had an experience with God’s presence? Please share!