I stop and look out the window at the sunshine, surprised I hadn't noticed it before. I feel the warmth within. It has been a trying week, and today I don't have to work. But something always needs to be done immediately.

Feeling the joy of the sun, I take time out and talk to God. My search is to find peace. I know true peace comes only from God, and I find it difficult to believe I have so little peace in my life. I've been a Christian for many years, and it seems I have much to learn, and much more to unlearn.

I close my eyes and try to remember the last time I really immersed my soul in God's Spirit. My mind goes back to special events: the day my daughter came home from college for the midyear break; the birthday surprise for my husband. These are special memories.

But then my mind focuses on what our minister said a few Sabbaths ago, telling us to go back to Bethel, challenging us to return to the experience we had with the Lord--as Jacob did when he was in the presence of God (see Genesis 28). I remember a time in my life when I was feeling despondent. I was with a friend, and we were talking about our feelings and what to do with them.

I close my eyes and I can picture us talking about Jesus and how much He loves us. I found it difficult to believe He could love someone like me, and I questioned my friend about it. I was struggling with some issues that had to be undone in my life and I felt it was a losing battle.

Remembering the pain, I also remembered the feeling I had when I sensed the presence of Jesus. There was joy, peace and love. I wanted that same feeling. Tired and worn, I know I need this time with Jesus to be revived. I close my eyes and simply think of what God has done for me. I'm often overwhelmed as I think back on the times Jesus made things work out in my life. Today, though, I just need to be in the presence of God. With eyes closed, I picture Jesus sitting in the sun on the floor with me. The sense of His presence brings feelings of peace. I know my life today will be in Jesus' hands.

I soak up my Bethel experience again. Talking to God I can only praise Him for His goodness, His care, His love and His gift to me. I feel less tired, less stressed, and I'm able to carry out the work that needs to be accomplished today.

Thank You, Lord, for Your continued care and love, and especially Your sacrifice. One day I will be able to tell Him that face to face. Until then, I will continue to go back to Bethel and feel His presence. He was afraid and said, "What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God--the gateway to heaven!" Genesis 28:17. Vyrona Parker is a writer and mother who lives in Nairne, South Australia.


This story is used with permission from Signs Publishing Company. More of these stories can be found in these collections: Ordinary People—Extraordinary God, Ordinary People—Faithful God, and Ordinary People—Generous God