March 3, 2021

The Mystery of God

March 3, 2021

By Sherrie Cavin


Romans 8:31-39

The older I get, the fewer answers I seem to have for many things. This lack of certainty, however, has led to a greater appreciation for the majesty and the mystery of God. While I may not understand or predict the ways of God, I am at peace with the knowledge of God’s presence and God’s eternal love. I did not always feel this way. 

I grew up in a fundamentalist church and the fear of hell was ever present in my life. I could never be “good enough” and I could never be sure that I would go to heaven. In my late 20’s, I was struggling with this spiritual dilemma, and also with the fact my doctor said I might not be able to conceive a child, something my husband John and I deeply desired.

That summer, John and I were driving through the town of St. Augustine and John asked me to pick one place to visit. I chose the site of the First Christian Mission in the U.S. As we were walking along a quiet path at the mission we came upon a small chapel. A sign said the chapel was dedicated to all mothers and all future mothers. I felt drawn to go inside and pray.

As I was kneeling at the altar a man came inside talking loudly. He walked up to me saying, “You did not just happen to come here. God brought you here for a reason. If you want a baby, all you have to do is ask God.” At that point he had my attention! He spoke for about 15 minutes, and it felt as if God were speaking through him, straight to the wounds in my heart. He talked of God’s deep love for me and how God wanted to give me the desires of my heart. He gave me a picture of Jesus tenderly holding a lamb and talked about the Good Shepherd who walks with us and protects us. All of the pain and fear that had haunted me for years fell away. I was overcome by a sense of peace and love that has never left me. 

The man asked me to write down any prayer request and he would have the nuns pray over it for me. I wrote down my desire to have a child. When I left, I was overcome with a joy I cannot fully express. It felt as if heaven had come down and God’s love had enveloped me. My fear of hell was gone forever and in its place was a sense of abiding faith and love. God truly loved me and everything would be ok. I would have a child whether by adoption or conception and I did not need to worry. 

A couple weeks later, I discovered that I had conceived a baby the day I was at the mission.

Almost 30 years later, I still cannot make sense of what happened to me that day or of many things that happen in life. The ways of God are shrouded in mystery, at least on this side of the veil. I have, however, learned to look for God’s miracles every single day because God can turn up in some unexpected places.  I know without a doubt that God is present with each of us no matter what we may be experiencing in life.  And I know that what happened to me that day was God’s story of love for every single person, not just for me. 

May we all become more deeply aware of God’s presence in our lives. And may we all experience more deeply the love of God, which we can never earn but is there for all of us to receive.