This is the question I have been pondering for several days. We are going through the life and times of Jesus in the New Testament at church, and one thing I see over and over again is His presence with the disciples and those He ministers to. He also promises over and over that He will be with them. Looking back in the Old Testament it is mentioned multiple times (Genesis, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Haggai that the Lord promises He is with the Israelites.
What I found to be true with the Israelites and with the disciples is also true with me. I crave the presence of the Lord…but only when it’s covenient, or serves me. I remember reading My Utmost for His Highest (Chambers) in college, during the month of October being shocked by an entry on the silence of God. Silence? No presence? Could it be? I thought if that happened to me, I might wither away. It may still happen in my lifetime, but I am confident I will not wither away! I would miss His presence like nothing else though.
C.S. Lewis was once heard to be relaying that we ‘read to know we are not alone. We love, to know we are not alone.’ (Shadowlands) I believe this to be true-we seek out either in words or flesh those we can identify with, have community, and share hopes/dreams, to know we are not alone.
The basis of that desire stems from presence. As highly introverted as my husband is, his ideal evening is sitting at home, watching Sportscenter with me. Not having chats over dinner, planning our week, discussing our family, but just presence with me. Truly, that is all the Lord desires as well…’to walk humbly with our God,’ seems to indicate presence. It doesn’t always mean you know where you are going, are in charge, or have to say the ‘right thing’ in a situation that you don’t know what to do/say.
My dear Grandmother passed away more than a year ago. My favorite thing even when I was in college, was to curl up in her lap. She couldn’t fix things if I’d had a bad day, or was hurting over a breakup, or just needed more time to wake up that day; She just knew I needed prescence. And she always seemed to know how much or how little I needed. I realized recently when my husband was traveling that my mother has this gift too. It has taken me 31 years to see it, but she came to stay for a few days with the kids and I when my husband was out of the country. Nothing specific was wrong, nothing terrible had happened, I was just struggling a little and she knew I needed presence-her presence. The struggles didn’t magically go away, but her prescence calmed me and righted things (especially the laundry!! Ha!)
The Lord offers His presence to us without strings attached, no waiting, free of charge. I find myself turning in other directions to fill that need (people, things) instead of just reveling in His presence and sharing time with Him instead.
This whole focus of the life and times of Jesus has really made me rethink my relationships. Am I investing the right kind of presence with my husband, my kids, my family, etc.?certainly something I am being challenged to make some adjustments and changes in. You? How is He challenging your relationships regarding presence?