I have to tell a few stories to back this up because it is just so special to me.
Exactly a week ago I was sitting outside Texas A&M's Louis Pearce Pavilion waiting with the Hansford Co livestock judging team for the State 4H contest to start. The team was young, none of them had experienced a state contest, and they were nervous. Instead of playing rap songs or hip hop songs to get pumped up, what did they want to listen to? Christian music. So I plugged in my phone and put a little Jesus in our day.
As the song was playing, I looked in the rear view mirror to see these awesome kids dressed in khakis and sports coats, ready for their state contest, clenching onto stenos, singing every word to "10,000 Reasons" by Matt Redman.
"For all your goodness I will keep on singing, 10,00 reasons for my heart to find. Bless The Lord, oh my soul, oh my soul, I'll worship your holy name."
Then, I looked next to me, saw my uncle and cousin singing the song and what happened? I cried a little. I had on sunglasses thankfully, because a couple tears slid out.
I knew in that moment. When I closed my eyes and heard the sweet voices of powerful reasons givers softly singing praises of worship - He was there. I could hear it in their voices and see it on their precious faces. God was there, laying comfort on our team.
Another example, I'll never forget was at the beginning of my judging career at Texas Tech. I've mentioned so many times in prior blogs about how Christ-based our team was. Well, it started off on a strong note when we first began.
We were on a winter workout in Odessa, Texas when "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me came on the radio. We were driving along scribbling on our stenos, not paying mind to the radio, when our coach suddenly turned the song up loud. We all paused and looked up for a moment to find our coach singing every word. No one in the van said a single word. It was pure silence except for the blaring of the radio and our coach's strong voice as he stared at the road ahead.
I closed my eyes in that moment and said of prayer of thanksgiving because I knew The Lord had led me to where I needed to be. Then, I knew He was there. From the man who often talked livestock, came "surrounded by your glory what will my heart feel? Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still? I can only imagine, oh, I can only imagine."
I could feel His presence among us.
There are so many stories that run through my mind when I think of Jesus being with us. But, it's the special moments that take me by surprise.
It reminds me of my moms favorite old hymn: He Lives.
"He walks with me and talks me along life's merry way. He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today. You ask me how I know He lives...He lives within my heart."
So today, I pray our eyes be opened, our ears be sharp, and heart ready. For Jesus is around us in everything we do. He lives within our hearts <3