I once heard a pastor share a story about how he was taking a walk in the woods and praying. During his prayer he was praying and asking God for a sign of God’s presence; the pastor had been struggling during this time. As soon as the pastor looked up from his prayer and large buck was standing in front of him. Ever since then bucks have been a reminder of Gods presence in that pastors life.
I always thought that stories like that where incredible dumb! I had heard multiple versions of the same story from different pastors. The reminders ranged from bucks to butterflies to any number of animal or occurring event.
I knew I always needed to remember that God was present, but I didn’t need a buck to do that for me!
God had other plans…
On a snowy January during my last semester in college I was sitting in the lounge of the first floor of my dorm building. The front of the lounge was a massive window that made up the entire front wall facing the plaza of my school. I was sitting there praying and reading my Bible.
I remember reading this verse before praying:
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? – Matthew 6:26 ESV
I was specifically praying because I was struggling. I was in a dry season spiritually. I really didn’t feel close to God at that time. I was praying that God would remind me of His love and presence in my life, and that I would have a renewed spiritual life.
Then I looked up from my prayer.
There before me, amidst the snow and bricks, was a bright red cardianl. It stood out like a sore thumb. You could not miss it. Then I heard God say to me, “It’s me”. That was all I needed. I felt God at work, right then in that moment, while sitting in the lounge of a college dorm building. I was suddenly reminded of God’s presence and his workings in my life. But it didn’t stop there. I continued to see that Cardinal every day until I graduated. Every day I had that reminder of the most important, or cardinal, thing I need to remember, God is at work in my life.