Authors: Margaret Feinberg
“[Feinberg] succeeds in keeping the reader engaged, entertained, and edified . . . [She] raises questions that linger in the mind after the book is closed.”
Margaret Feinberg is a modern-day David. With eyes on the heavens, His Word in hand, and all her heart turned towards His, she tells the wonders of His love in ways you’ve never known. Who in the world doesn’t need joy like this?
One Thousand Gifts
“Feinberg turns exegesis into an art, delivering findings that invite the audience to touch, taste, smell, and see God’s handiwork throughout the Scriptures and in their own lives.”
President, LifeWay Research
We dangerously underestimate the power of wonder . . . Margaret recenters wonder at the heart of our relationship with God, with seismic results. This book shook my soul awake and made it impossible for me to continue following a God of my own design. Her work is captivating, staggeringly honest and refreshingly deep, stirring my mind, heart, sense, and soul to consider God in ways that are reshaping me.
Looking for God
invites you to open your eyes to the delights, joys, and gifts of God all around. You can’t read this book and remain the same—it will change you so you see yourself, others, God, and the world around you in a more beautiful, life-giving way.
is a game-changing book. Feinberg’s brilliant writing captures you as she points to the God who has captured her.
Senior pastor of Central Christian Church, Las Vegas, Nevada
This generation longs to encounter Good News in fresh, modern, and engaging ways. Margaret Feinberg stands at the forefront of communicating the timeless truths of Jesus with vibrant language, imagery, and expression. Those who read
will never be the same. Highly recommended.
Founder of Q; author of
The Next Christians
, like all of Margaret’s writing, is rooted in historical, global, and biblical perspectives, and reads like a song with storied verses and a beautiful chorus: Pay attention, pay attention; it matters; pay attention. I can’t wait to share this book with friends.
Singer and songwriter
Margaret Feinberg does a superb job of helping us hear God. Through her felicitous prose and engaging storytelling, I not only got a feeling for her unique journey with God, but I also received fresh glimpses into my own.
Senior managing editor,
Maybe the reason the Christian faith in America is so anemic and lifeless is because we have settled for lifeless religion and stuffy ritual instead of a thriving, close, alive, passionate relationship to the living God. Margaret’s latest book is like standing under Niagara Falls spiritually. You won’t be able to put it down.
Senior pastor of Bayside Church
AWAKEN TO THE NEARNESS
Copyright © 2012 by Margaret Feinberg, LLC
Published by Worthy Publishing, a division of Worthy Media, Inc., 134 Franklin Road, Suite 200, Brentwood, Tennessee 37027.
ELPING PEOPLE EXPERIENCE THE HEART OF GOD
eBook available at
Audio distributed through Oasis Audio; visit
Library of Congress Control Number: 2012950268
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. Other quotations are from the following sources: The King James Version of the Bible (
). The Holy Bible, New International Version, (
). Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Some names and details in anecdotes shared in this volume have been changed to protect identities.
For foreign and subsidiary rights, contact Riggins International Rights Service, Inc.,
ISBN: 978-1-61795-088-9 (trade paper)
Published in association with ChristopherFerebee.com, Attorney and Literary Agent
Cover Design: Mary Hooper/Milkglass Creative
Cover Image: iStock Photo
Interior Typesetting: Susan Browne Design
Printed in the United States of America
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RIGHT-EYED IN THE EARLY HOURS
of a frigid January morning several years ago, I heard a familiar voice whisper, “It’s time to go to sleep.” Though I knew such words were spoken in wisdom and love, I refused to allow the allure of slumberland to steal me from the wonder.
The announcement of a promotion for my husband, Leif, had required a move, and we had spent every waking hour boxing up all we owned and saying good-bye to loved ones. We weren’t moving far: ninety-two miles to be exact. But in southeast Alaska, where the only way to travel between islands is by air, boat, or long frigid swim, miles multiply in people’s hearts.
Rumors circled of the inefficiency and unreliability of the ferry system connecting the regional ports, but remained the only practical option for the move. Pulling our overloaded vehicles into the belly of the ship, we had exhaled a sigh of relief and then scrambled to the observatory deck to secure a window seat where we could watch the last of the brief day’s blissful sun melt into the horizon.
The route we had selected wasn’t the most direct but permitted us to leave Sitka one day and wake up in our new hometown of Juneau the next. Staring out the window, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d slouched in a chair with nowhere to go and nothing to do. The ship held me captive, and I submitted to the monotony. Then fatigue drained the remaining amps of my energy reserves. I took one last glance at Leif and mustered a slanted smile before nodding off to sleep.
Hunger soon woke me. Following the dim lighting down the passageway, I navigated through rows of sleeping strangers and their bags to make my way to the commissary. After a quick bite to eat, I returned to my seat. Before nestling in, I admired the faint moonlight backlighting the mountainous coast. Then something compelled me to look up, and a scene unfolded that I suspect caused at least one angel to gasp: the expanse of the sky transformed from inky blackness into an infinite canvas on which brushstrokes of apricot, sapphire, and emerald painted themselves into the night sky. Like an oil painting in progress, the colors refused to stand still. The hues danced as if listening to jazz. Iridescent shades sharpened then faded with wild fervor.
This wasn’t the first time I had been mesmerized by the northern lights. When traveling to Alaska years before, the promise of such celestial beauty had ignited my imagination. I met Leif (pronounced
) on one of my first visits to the great state. Before our friendship turned romantic, we’d sit at the end of the road in Sitka—away from the town’s lights—hoping for a glimpse
of the midnight delights. One evening I noticed a brushstroke of lime green in the sky growing brighter with each passing moment. I rubbed my eyes as if I’d seen a mirage then looked again. The color appeared to flap in the wind like a loose sail.
“That’s the northern lights,” Leif assured me.
The beauty of the aurora borealis enchanted me. Since that evening, I had spent countless hours peering through the window of our home and returning to the desolate place where the road ends to catch one more glimpse of the beauty that quickened my soul. Even on the most extravagant evenings, the northern lights had lasted only an hour or two then faded, but on this evening the curtain to the performance never closed. The sky exhaled more hues than I imagined possible, and I found myself caught up in the wonder.
That’s when I heard Leif whisper, “It’s time to go to sleep.”
“Look!” I protested.
Leif craned his neck, staring into the starry night. Arms locked, we squished against the window to watch nature’s fireworks.
“It’s two thirty in the morning,” Leif whispered. “We should sleep.”
“Go ahead. I’ll nod off soon.”
Leif knew me all too well: I had no intention of ever closing my eyes. Aware of the privilege of watching God’s creation unfold its glorious mysteries, I didn’t want to miss a millisecond. Wonderstruck by my Creator, this moment of spiritual awakening
stirred in me a longing to experience more of God. If these lights were so beautiful, how much more stunning must their Maker be? What kind of God paints the sky in such effulgent hues? For some, the northern lights are a tourist attraction, but for me, they are a portal to the very heart of God. My lips remained motionless, but my soul sang as I witnessed this revival in the night sky.
The hours passed. I offered up a silent prayer to lay hold of the wonder of God, to find myself once again awed by another facet of his nature, another glimpse of his presence in our world.
Even though I lived in Alaska for five years and witnessed the northern lights more than a hundred times, none compared to that night. I still savor the encounter and live in hopeful anticipation of another. Though we now live at a lower latitude on the outskirts of a major city notorious for its light pollution, on many nights, you’ll still find me scouting the sky in hope of catching another glimpse of the wonder.