God’s Hand On My Shoulder

By March 1, 2017 November 28th, 2018 Story

I think the first time I came to College Wesleyan was when there was a community Good Friday service here. My daughter was going to come with me, but she got sick and couldn’t come, so I came in by myself. As soon as I went in the sanctuary, I felt God there; I knew He was in that sanctuary. It was real exciting. I knew where He was in that sanctuary. I know He’s everywhere—but I knew there was a specific place in that sanctuary on that Good Friday. I told my family about it and about a year later they came back with me. I think that Good Friday service was probably God saying that He wasn’t in any hurry; “You’ll find me when you come.” And He’s here waiting for us when we come.

Several years ago, there was a time when something happened to us as a family which was very, very scary. I won’t share details, but it was the worst thing we’d ever been through as a family—just horrible. One evening during that time, we were standing in a circle, praying with a couple other people, and I KNOW that God put His hand on my right shoulder. If I’d opened my eyes, I would have seen a hand. I didn’t look because I didn’t want God to think I was doubting Him. I wanted Him to know I knew that was His hand on my shoulder. I felt its warmth.

He was telling me, “Everything’s ok.”

When I felt that warmth, I knew everything would be all right. It was a horrible thing that happened but God took care of it. The positive thing that came out of it was that was the first time I felt God and totally knew He was there. I wasn’t afraid any longer. Up to that point, I was afraid of what was going to happen. That was a negative that turned out to be a positive. It was the very worst thing that could happen to our family and the very best.

A Scripture verse that is helpful to me is, “Be still and know that I am God.” It has become really meaningful in my life. Quiet time for me, when I feel stressed, is when I’ll say to Him, “God, I’m going to sit here. If You have something You want to say, I’m going to listen.” And after a while, if I haven’t heard, I’ll say, “Here’s what’s on my mind,” and we just have a time of quiet communication sometimes. But that Scripture means so much to me and helps me through difficult times.

I feel His presence everywhere. To a nonbeliever, these experiences would seem like hocus-pocus, but it can and does happen. Yes, yes. I used to hear the stories and think, No . . . no. But it is true. And it really can happen. I’ve been very blessed to have those close encounters with God that are just . . . like He is saying,”Bekki, I’m going to let you know I’m in your life.”

—Bekki Johnston

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