A few years back, I got caught up in the middle of a hurricane. Not a real one, with lashing rain, storm lanterns and food stockpiles, but an uncommon type of emotional storm which has a similar effect; rips the roof off your house and leaves you stranded. Or drowning.
One night, feeling pretty bad, I walked in the door and without even taking my coat off, I flopped down and laid on the living room floor. For a second, I half wondered if this was it, marbles well and truly lost, but as it happened, it was the precise moment that God turned up.
Before the theologians point out that God was always there, then yes of course, I agree. Of course he was. It’s just that I couldn’t sense his presence. Couldn’t figure out why this was happening. Could see no purpose in it all.
And so as I laid there on the floor, I found a tiny bit of gumption (somewhere in my left little finger) to switch on some worship music.
I wish to this day, I knew what the song was (I’ve tried in vain since, to find it on Spotify) but all I know is that within seconds, the house was filled with this incredible, awe-inducing presence of God. The kind of presence that leaves you mute and immobile, for fear that it might go away. The kind that is so tangible, it’s almost touchable, but not quite. The kind that makes you think that if this is just a fraction of what heaven is like, then why wait? Why can’t we all go now?
There wasn’t much prayerful conversation going on. I felt like I couldn’t really move anyway, but I knew somehow that God was stitching things back together, healing, restoring, sorting.
An hour passed (maybe longer) but when I finally opened my eyes, things were different. I’d inexplicably been in the presence of the King…and it’s impossible to be there and for stuff to stay the same. The situation hadn’t changed but oh my word, I had. And that’s all that mattered.
I was thinking about this recently while listening to Fly by Jason Upton.
For those who don’t know the story, Fly was a spontaneous worship session with just Jason singing and playing. He could hear these heavenly harmonies all around him and later, voice analysis seemed to indicate there’d been more than one voice pattern recorded (yet he was the only one actually singing). Make of that what you will.
I just know that when I listen to it (listen out for the harmonies around two minutes in), I’m back to that indescribable carpet moment, where I know my father started fixing, healing, mending, making sense of the trouble and giving me a purpose for the struggle, which was far from over.
As the old song goes, just one touch from the king, changes everything.
I knew then and I know today, even as new storms hit, that it’s completely true. When God comes into a room, the situation might not change, but I always will.