What Happens When You Meet With God in Your Sanctuary?

meeting God in my sanctuary

I had quite the conversation with the Lord on that crisp spring morning. I met Him in my sanctuary – my beloved porch swing with its soothing, squeaky melody. A gentle breeze stirred the treetops … and me – reminding me of God’s Spirit and lifting me with the wings of eagles high above the fray. I longed for the Presence of the Lord.

Life had been hard.

Thirty-one years of a wonderful marriage met a tragic end.

I found myself in financial ruin, emotional bankruptcy, and wrapped in chains so tight the very life was being sucked out of me.

Yes, it was a very painful, difficult time.

But God.

God is calling. Are we listening?
Photo credit: bapreston/pixabay.com

But God wanted to have a talk. With me. That in itself is amazing, right? The Creator of the Universe knows us by name. He was calling out to me and I heard that sweet whisper deep in my spirit, Nan … Nan, come to Me. Let down your walls.

It’s a good thing I had a tissue in the pocket of my jacket because the tears slipped from my eyes and coursed down my cheeks. My pain was raw, my spirit weary, and yet my Heavenly Father loved me enough to embrace my broken heart with His tenderness.

I want you to give Me your heart. You have shut Me out thinking I will hurt you too. But I won’t. I love you with an everlasting love.

“But Lord, I’ve never stopped loving You. Never.”

Yes, I know. But you have set boundaries – without realizing it, you have created control in our relationship. Trust Me.

I rocked in the swing a little harder, staring at the treetops surrendering to the power of the wind. A symphony of birdsong serenaded my sorrow.

“Have I Lord? Have I pushed You away?”

Yes. The reply was quiet and gentle. I am no longer Your first love.

I laid my head back, resting against the swing and closed my eyes. I knew the Lord was right. I had become self-absorbed, locked in a deep depression with a heart growing cold. My life was always about serving others – being a minister of reconciliation to a hurting world. But my spirit was parched. Broken. Disillusioned. And the thought of service made me quake.

Give yourself fully to Me again. Rest in Me and I will heal you. Give yourself to Me in worship, in study, in conversation. Give yourself to Me and you will find peace. You will find strength. As I strengthen and comfort you in your distress, THEN you will be able to comfort others with the comfort you have received. But you must give yourself fully to Me again.

I learned a lot that day. I learned what we’ve all been taught: in my weakness He is strong. I learned that His grace really is sufficient. But if I don’t give myself to the Lord first, I cannot serve others with the power of His Holy Spirit. Without His love flowing richly through me, I am but a clanging cymbal.

My love is not sufficient. His is.

Have you been keeping the Lord at arm’s distance because He disappointed you? Are you running on a gerbil wheel of busyness – building God’s Kingdom, family, job, school – and before you knew it, the Lord had become another item on the list to check off? Is He still your first love? There is no condemnation to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. He is not condemning you. He was not condemning me. He was calling to me, imploring me to give myself to Him once more.

I pray that if you hear His still, small voice deep inside calling your name, you will answer, “I’m coming, Lord … I’m coming.”


Nan Jones

Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. She has been published in several anthologies as well as the online inspirational sites Christian Devotions, and Inspire a Fire where she is a monthly contributor. She is also a monthly contributor to PW Connections, a blog and forum to encourage pastors' wives. Nan has had the honor of being featured as a guest blogger on several sites. She is thrilled to announce her debut book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife released June 30, 2015 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. This memoir was a 2016 Selah finalist. When Nan isn't writing, she enjoys leading prayer retreats, bible studies or sharing God’s love as keynote speaker for special events. She is becoming known by her brand: "Even so, I walk in the Presence of the Lord" as she teaches her audience to go beyond the veil to find God's Presence. You may visit Nan at her website: www.NanJones.com. Nan has also created a facebook community page, Seeing Beyond The Veil, to provide a place for folks to go and get away from the chaos for a few moments and focus on Jesus through scripture, worship, testimony, and inspirational quotes. For personal communication you may email Nan at nan@nanjones.com The Perils of a Pastor's Wife is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and LPC Bookstore

More Posts


    1. Oh Norma, that makes my heart smile. I know your struggles are very, very real and justified. The Lord knows that as well, but He also sees your precious heart. Isn’t it wonderful to know that He delights in comforting us, strengthening us and spending time with us? That amazes me. I know the Lord knows your heart, and He agrees with me – it’s beautiful. I also know that healing is in His hands.

  1. Nan, I love this and it speaks to my heart. God is stirring anew in me, calling me to raise the bar once again. Your words of encouragement regarding making sure HE is my first love was a needed spur. Wish I could sit down with you over a cup of coffee. ????

    1. Yay God! You blessed me, Judy. Every time I write a post I pray the Lord will place it in the hands of those who need to hear His message. I’m tickled that it encouraged you. And yes, somehow, one day we will have to share a cup of coffee. You’re so precious.

  2. So good, my friend. I too have been on that journey to find my way back to that closeness with Him after allowing so many other “good things” to crowd out my first love. Doesn’t get much better than being still on a bench with the King of kings and Lord of lords! <3

    1. Yes, ma’am. You are absolutely correct. I often think about the miracle of being able to converse with Him. It’s astounding, isn’t it? I’m so glad you stopped by and left a comment. Thank you.

Comments are closed.