Perhaps the greatest gift of spiritual sight is to recognize God’s presence. Jacob wrestled with God, at first not knowing who he was, but eventually realizing he had seen God face to face (Genesis 32:30). This encounter changed Jacob forever — leaving him with a limp, but more importantly with a faith that never turned back. After seeing God, like Jacob, we will never be the same.

Even though we may intellectually know God is always with us, we need to pay attention to see him and be aware of his presence. Signs of his love are all around, but we need to connect them to him. It may be as simple as noticing the wisdom we have when we ask for it. Or the inexplicable comfort we receive when we cry out. Or the unexpected phone call after we pray. Connecting those gifts with God’s presence in our life can transform our suffering. Both Mary Magdalene at the tomb and the disciples on the road to Emmaus were dejected and discouraged until they recognized Jesus, and then they were filled with joy and peace. So it is with us. Knowing that God is with us, not just intellectually but experientially, can radically alter how we feel in our suffering.

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