I love it when God makes His presence known to me in special ways—kisses from heaven. These kisses don’t come on a regular basis, and usually when I least expect them. But they are strong assurances that He is watching over me, He is a faithful God, well able to answer my prayers, and that to him, a day is really like a thousand years, and that He never needs to be in a hurry. They are reminders that to live the Kingdom life is like finding a pearl of great price, and that any sacrifice I have made pales in comparison to the good things He wants to pour into my life.

Well, I got kissed this week! And thinking about it makes me giddy, makes me want to laugh and throw my hat in the air—whoops, I’m not wearing a hat. What happened?? Did I win the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes? No, nothing as crass as that, nothing that involves money or personal achievement or recognition—something way more important, way bigger.

I saw redemption. I saw restoration. I saw that some prayers I prayed a long, long time ago have not been forgotten. Nothing dramatic, there were no bells or major announcements. In fact, it was something that a lot of people wouldn’t even have noticed. Something that some might scoff at, say it was just a coincidence, say it was no big deal.

So why am I so deliriously happy over something that some people would think so insignificant? Because I saw the Lord!

There is a new song we’re singing in church, one our worship leader, Eric Stark wrote. It’s a happy song, a rejoicing song, called “The Living Tree.” One of the verses goes like this:

Let’s live each day on God’s good earth
In the wonder of each new days birth
Let the sun shine hot upon your face
Be fully alive in God’s good grace
Be fully alive in God’s good grace.

Another verse encourages us to “come sing and dance with one hand free….” I love that, a nod to one of my favorite happy tunes, Dylan’s Tambourine Man,–“oh to dance beneath the diamond sky, with one hand waving free.” That’s a description of the “good life” to me—God’s good life—living with wonder, having a dancing heart, fully alive in God’s good grace.

When we live in the joy and wonder of God’s good grace, aware of and rejoicing in the knowledge that He is present with us, an ever present help in times of trouble—when we allow the joy of the Lord to lift us and carry us through the struggles of life, we live in an expectation of good things. We refuse to live a heavy, burned out, cynical life, but instead fight the good fight of faith.

So, back to my kiss from heaven this week. I saw and acknowledged God Himself at work, and thought of the words of Jesus—“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall SEE the Lord.” I saw the Lord at work in the lives of people I have prayed for. Some Bible translations even put the beatitudes this way: HAPPY are the pure in heart, for they shall see the Lord.”

And I definitely prefer HAPPY and BLESSED over the alternative! It’s a fight to stay in this frame of mind, but it is a huge part of the good fight of faith that the Bible often talks about. I’m so glad I could acknowledge what I observed as GOD AT WORK, and not a mere coincidence, not cynically doubting whether these particular people would ever get their acts together, but believing for God to be at work, believing that He is constantly at work in the lives of the people He created, constantly drawing them back to Himself through a myriad of different ways.