The first time I felt the physical touch of God was back in 1974. I was hungry for more in my faith, searching for peace in my life. At that time we were attending a Lutheran church in Duluth, MN in the mornings and a Spirit flowing place called The Tabernacle on Sunday nights. One night I went up to the altar to pray. As I knelt there with my hands folded I felt someone unclasp my hands and lift them up into the air. As this was happening I could feel warm hands on mine, so I opened my eyes to see who was doing this. No one was there. No one was nearby. The warm hands I felt were not visible to my human eyes.
This event impacted my life, deepening my desire for "more" of God's presence. Moving to the Philippines brought me to friends who had the gift of a prayer language and seemed to have that "something more" I desired. I took great comfort and strength as part of a group of interdenominational women who spent time worshiping, praising, and praying together on a weekly basis. I even experienced healing for a large boil when a group of women prayed over me. Oh how I missed my friends (love you Helen H.) after heading home. I still miss that group 39 years later.
When we returned to the states I read Catherine Marshall's book, "Something More" over and over. Frances Hunter also became part of my reading menu during the charismatic 70's. Then life intervened. We lived in a traditional Lutheran world. Our family grew, sickness took hold, and it took another 36 years for me to be gifted with my own prayer language and experience once again the presence of God in a physical way through healing and through Holy Spirit manifesting. I love my relationship with the Trinity now. I could never go back, and pray daily that God will open up to us more of His presence in our lives in anyway He sees fit.
Thinking about this took me back to a time 3 years ago when someone asked me where God was when at age 6, I was being sexually abused. Joel and I believe He was right there beside me, weeping with me. You see, He has given us a free will. He gave Adam and Eve dominion over the earth and nature, but then sin entered in. In our fallen world, bad things happen to good people. Satan has come to kill, steal, and destroy, not God. I don't blame God for what happened. I was in a situation that opened the doors to abuse from an older cousin and then a friend of the family. Evil walked in the door and my circumstances made it possible. God did not want me suffering abuse, it was NOT part of His plan for my life. Evil in any form is not part of His plan for anyone's life.
Over the years of Joel's ministry and our own lives, we have heard so many stories of neglect, abuse, hate, deceit, and even murder. In our broken world we all experience Satan at work.
I cannot help but think about the 9 people who were murdered last night during a prayer meeting by an evil young man who wanted to "kill black people". How do we make sense of that? We know where these people are now...heaven rejoiced and welcomed them home..... but they died because evil entered their church in the form of a lost young man.
Oh, come Holy Spirit come, fill us with your goodness and give us courage to fight evil in all forms. Give us courage to follow your command to preach the gospel, heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead. You commanded us to love one another. You knew we would need to fight a spiritual war when you gave us these commands. We. are. at. war. Let our light so shine that others will hunger for what we have. Let Your presence fill our bodies, our homes, our churches, our communities and drive out evil in every form. Come Holy Spirit come. Bring us a touch from God.