A yellow bird in a field of pink flowers reminds us of God's magnificent presence.

Encountering God’s Magnificent Presence 

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Not long ago my husband was grabbing a package from our front porch when he called into the kitchen, “Hey! There’s a bird’s nest in the wreath on our front door!” We marveled at how intricately the nest was constructed. Assembled with twigs, leaves, wool, and feathers, it was just four or five inches across and a quaint two or three inches deep. It was so perfect, it looked factory made. We were both enthralled and delighted at this small reminder of God’s magnificent presence

The parents happened to build the nest right at the edge of a window in our front door. This allowing us the perfect view into the tiny nest. We filled the next month with obsessive observation as we soon saw one, then two, then eventually five eggs laid in the tiny nest. We watched as the mama and papa birds sat, and eventually as the tiny eggs hatched, grew, and fledged the nest.  

Having the nest quite literally on our doorstep, it forced us into a habit of awe. We truly and deeply experienced the presence of our Creator God as we watched His creation up close. 

A baby bird in a nest with other eggs reminds us of God's magnificent presence.

No matter what you find on your own doorstep, here are two simple tips for encountering God’s magnificent presence in your own life.  

Listen for the Whisper 

Soon after his victory on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18), Elijah fled. In the midst of running for his life, we find this stunning story in 1 Kings 19:11-13 (NIV). 

“The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” 

In this moment, the presence of God wasn’t found in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire, where Elijah was inclined to look. Instead, it was found in the gentle whisper of the Lord. 

Are there any areas of your life where you are looking for earthquakes and fire while instead, the Lord is gently whispering?  

Look for the Joy 

In Psalm 16:11, King David writes, “​​You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (ESV). If you are seeking to live a life of awe, look first for the moments of joy in your life. Whether they are big and easy to spot, or simple, everyday joys, allow the already-present presence of God to delight you as you find Him in the fullness of joy. 

Day after day we watched that nest on our front-door wreath. We would climb the step stool placed by the door hourly and gape in awe at God’s magnificence. The simplicity of this natural event was like the gentle whisper of the Lord. We saw His masterful hand in the deep joy we experienced watching new life grow. 

The magnificence of God is evident all around you, be it in the awe of bird’s nests, or the beauty of a sunset, or the joy of a child’s laugh. Listen for the whisper and look for the joy and you’re sure to encounter God’s magnificent presence as you live a life of awe. 

Now listen to a short segment of this daily meditation from Abide based on Psalm 16:11.

To help you keep these steps in mind, check out the Abide app. Our 1500+ daily meditations, like the one above, more than 400 Bible-based sleep stories, and daily devotions all exist to help you encounter God’s magnificent presence and experience His peace. Use this link for 25% off a premium subscription, giving you access to all our sleep stories plus much more. 

Gwen lives in Atlanta with her husband, Paul. She loves black coffee, a good novel, and is always looking for a new skill to try or adventure to take. 

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