You might find this story a little strange, because it has to do with the presence of God at a gas station convenience store. But what makes this story so awesome is indeed just that – that the presence of God can be found in a tangible, incredible, “you can really feel it” way at a gas station convenience store right here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. In fact, so strong is the presence of God at this gas station convenience store, that I have not felt a stronger presence of God literally anywhere. There is, unquestionably, an “open line” to heaven somewhere connected in with this gas station convenience store. But let me backtrack if you will.
I am not in the habit of using this particular gas station on a regular basis when it comes to filling up. The reason for that is simply because it’s not on my main path. But now and then I am close to this gas station, and need gas, and so pull in to buy some gas. I have done this on numerous occasions now, and one thing I have noticed is that when I step inside to pay the bill (it is a “convenience store” style gas station, so the “pay station” is inside the convenience store), I have always felt the presence of God! Now you might be thinking that this is a rather ridiculous thing talking about the presence of God at a gas station convience store, but bear with me a little, if you will.
Because I could tangibly feel the presence of God at this convenience store, I (previously) asked the person working there if he was a Christian. “Oh, yes I am,” came the reply. And, as it turns out, a Christian from Ethiopia (I don’t know if maybe he is related to the Ethiopian Eunuch … you never know!) Well, I have had good chats with the people there, and, when I have returned to get gas again, it has not always been the same person, but I have always felt the same presence of God. Now, for you who are saying, “What does the presence of God feel like?” the answer is, that God will FILL YOU with his presence and you will spontaneously WANT TO TALK ABOUT JESUS AND SING SONGS TO HIM. YOU WILL HAVE COMPLETE JOY. Yes, this is what the presence “feels like,” if you will. And it is real, and it is very tangible.
Well, I went back to that gas station convenience store recently again, and I wasn’t even thinking about the presence of God, and I had not even seen who was behind the counter, and I was just lingering there waiting to pay my bill — looking in the opposite direction from the cashier — and the very strong, tangible, presence of God began to fill me again! Wow! I couldn’t help but be INSTANTLY CHANGED standing right there in that store! I began to become so overwhelmed with God’s presence, that I started to give him praise right there in that store! And I turned around and began chatting with the man, and, of course, he is a born again Christian who just LOVES Jesus!
I walked out of that store after having had a glorious, Spirit-filled, conversation with that man, and I was absolutely FILLED with the Holy Spirit as I did! My son and I walked back to my van, and I noticed a man sitting in another van behind ours. He smiled at me and said “hello” as though he knew me. I walked a little closer, and discovered it was a friend from another church who was sitting there, who just LOVES Jesus, as well! He had been sitting in his van with his wife, saying to her, “I know that guy!” upon seeing my van, because it is full of “Jesus” bumper stickers at the back. So when he saw me, he recognized me immediately, and we had a nice chat.
We chatted, and chatted, and chatted. And I told him how it was that every time that I went into that convenience store that God’s Spirit filled me! He and his wife BOTH responded, “And it doesn’t matter who’s at the cash, either, the presence is always there!” Then he told me of some of the history of that place, how the owner WHO WAS A CHRISTIAN was so “on fire” for God that when he had seen this man’s huge “banner” on his vehicle, “Praise the Lord,” had asked him, “Where did you get that done?” to which my friend had responded, “At such and such a place.” The owner had then purchased a new vehicle and had the vehicle plastered in well designed stickers which all GAVE GLORY to our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! The end of that story is that later on, the owner felt a CALL from God to leave the gas station and study at a Bible school! And the place is now owned again, by another Christian.
So, you see? It wasn’t just me that felt the presence in that place! God CONFIRMED that he was REALLY THERE through these two others, as well! “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” (2 Corinthians 13:1)
Makes you think, eh? We ought to be PRAYING PEOPLE, ON FIRE FOR GOD, and GOD WILL BE SO PLEASED, HE’LL EVEN SHOW UP IN A TANGIBLE, YOU-CAN-REALLY-FEEL-IT, WAY! YES, EVEN AT A GAS STATION! PRAISE THE LORD!