It is important that we become sensitive to God’s presence/alert to the ways He reveals Himself in the daily occurrence of life. Often the problem is that we simply don’t know what to look for, or we don’t take the time in our hurried lives to be aware of our Father’s presence. It’s like going out to a forest in the dead of winter. All we can see are bare limbs of trees, a blanket of snow, withered flowers. There doesn’t seem to be much life around. Yet all the life of a forest in the fullness of summer is still there, tucked away just out of the reach of careless observation. If we know what to look for, we can brush away the snow and uncover spring flowers in full bud, waiting only for a few days of warmth to bring them into bloom.

In much the same way, we have summertime moments in our lives when God seems to press in upon us, and we experience His profound love in a vital and personal way. No one has trouble recognizing His presence in moments like these. But we don’t always realize that we can experience God’s presence in many other ways in life, in events that seem quite ordinary in themselves, in people and places and things, in God’s special gifts such as truth and love. You may have to pause, of course, to look and reflect to see the sure signs of His Presence.

We may be inclined to think that only the good things in our lives bring us into contact with God. When hard times come, all is desolation. We plead with the Lord at that moment to come back to us. Actually He never went away. God is present to us in trials and difficulties just as truly as in good times. His hand is in everything.

God Himself does not create most of the hard times we go through. Given the way we tend to live at times and the world we live in, God doesn’t have to create difficulties for us. But He certainly works with us through them. If you’re sunk in discouragement, if you’re bowed down with defeat of any kind, God is still there with you. He works to make the most of our hard times, enabling us to emerge from them as conquerors. Look for Him and speak to Him. He is there and He will surely see us through everything.