Under the shelter of the Almighty
Because of the busyness of our lives, we forget that God is always with us. But God has a very unique way of showing that He is there, beside us in whatever that we do, awake or asleep.
The first time I heard God speaking to me was when I was around 13-14 years old, drowning in the open sea. At that time, I was not yet a Catholic. During my primary years, there were daily morning masses held in the chapel at the Convent where I studied. I used to attend these Masses and often prayed that one day, I would be able to receive the Eucharist. When I moved on to secondary school, there were no more morning Masses at the chapel in the Convent. Somehow, without the daily spiritual food, I forgot about this God that had earlier captivated me so.
Back to me at sea. As I went under, I heard this voice telling me to ‘Be still’. I know that a normal person would be telling me not to panic. Who would say ‘Be still’ but God? As a good swimmer, I had swum quite a distance away from my family. I was told that when I went under, my father was beside me and I somehow held on to him. That part I don’t remember. All I remember was the voice of a man saying ‘Be still’. A father and son who were at sea brought my father and I back to shore. The voice could not have been my father’s as on that day, there was a strong undercurrent that had somehow pulled me and my father under. It was neither the voice of the father nor the son because the voice I heard was deep, spoke slowly and was so assuring.
When we reached shore, I opened my eyes and asked those around me whether they told me to be still. They said they did not speak. My father was choking but I was fine, I did not swallow any sea water. How can that be for a person not to swallow water when drowning? At that time, I could not tell you who spoke to me nor explain why I was calm when I was drowning. Today, I will tell you that God spoke to me and I listened. Be still.
During Holy Week in April of this year, this time I did not hear God speaking but felt His presence instead. As I was driving during lunch time, I lost control of my car. At that time, it was raining very heavily and there were lots of cars on the road. I found my car starting to spin out of control at the overpass. Initially I struggled to straighten the car by turning the steering wheel from right to left to right. Then I felt myself being enveloped by something warm and I felt myself cocooned in a bubble. Like a bubble, I floated and could see the car moving like a pinball but hitting nothing, not another vehicle, not the guard rail of the overpass. The cars in front of me had moved on. The cars behind me had come to a stop. I felt God hugging me so tightly, like a father would hug a child.
When my car stopped spinning, it had stopped across 2 lanes. There was no damage to the car and I was not hurt. I know I released control of the car to God when I was in His embrace. After the car stopped spinning, all I did was straighten the car and carry on with my journey. Of course, I called my husband as I drove and matter-of-factly told him ‘Darling, I lost control of the car but I am fine’. Why did I not panic? Why was I not in fear? I would say because I let go and let God take control.
Through our busyness and trying to catch up with the Joneses, we have set God aside, only looking for Him in times of trouble and asking where God is. Throughout our lives, God is always there looking out for us. Why should we chase after riches when He has given us a loving family and good friends? Why do we want to be special and receive preferential treatment from others when we are already special in God’s eyes? Why do we need to influence others with our thoughts when we can put our thoughts to good use and find creative ways to bring joy and love to others? After all, God is love.
There are 1.34+ billion Catholics in the world. God showers each and every one of us with the same graces because God loves each and every one of His children. I remind myself daily that every little grace and mercy in my life are blessings from God. In the secular world, being in control is everything. But I have to trust that my God knows what is best for me. And that everything happens in His time and not mine. I don’t need nor want to be reminded every 30+ years that God is with me. These two incidents in my life have shown me that God IS with me always even when I don’t acknowledge Him and that trusting in Him is ultimate. I thank and praise God daily for being there with me and for me and keeping me safe.
For those reading this, let us remind ourselves daily, during our times of trials and tribulation and our times of gladness and triumph, that God is always with us.
Below is the link to one of my favourite songs when I meditate on God
Still by Hillsong https://youtu.be/0ekN5YbfIFc