Posted by: Jo | April 10, 2015

God’s Presence With Us

“Then the Lord replied, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’”

(Exodus 33:14)

image When I was a little girl growing up in Australia, the school system was a duplication of the very formal English way of teaching in Britain. We all marched into our class rooms, stood at our desks until the teacher arrived to say good morning, replied in unison and then sat down for, what we called, roll call. The teacher read out each of our names and we replied

PRESENT

Even as a little girl I wondered at that reply. Why did we have to say, “Present”? Couldn’t the teacher see we were sitting there? As I was thinking back on those days I began to wonder what that word, and it’s other form, presence, means today.

We talk about someone having a certain presence. We can remark about an emotion being ever present in some meetings. Others have told me that walking into some of the old cathedrals of Europe, where the Lord has been worshipped for countless ages, one can feel a blessed presence.

God’s amazing gift to the children of Israel was that his presence would be right with them (Exodus 33:14) and they could find rest in that knowledge that he would always be there. Unfortunately they forgot repeatedly that his presence was with them. We too sometimes forget that he is close to us and not only until we cry out his name, does he answer like my childhood response, “present”

Our reading this Sunday was from Luke 24:13 – 32, the story of two of Jesus’ disciples walking with Jesus after the resurrection, but failing to recognise him, his presence was right beside them, but overcome with grief, with their heads downcast they failed to notice the beautiful presence of their Saviour Jesus Christ.

“…They stood still, their faces downcast.” (Luke 24:17)

Emotions must have been raging in the minds of those two men. They had placed all their hope on Jesus and now they had seen him brutally killed. Perhaps doubt began to creep into their thoughts, perhaps they felt despair that now they had no one to turn to. Perhaps they were even disillusioned about the amazing miracles and the wonderful words they had heard from the Teacher’s mouth.

We, too, in our spiritual walk, can experience similar times of doubt, despair, and deep sorrow and be so burdened and downcast that we fail to be aware of the beautiful presence, promised by our Heavenly Father, to all who believe in him. When these ugly emotions beset us, we need to focus, not on what is troubling us, but on the one who has promised to never leave us.

image Jesus first opens the two disciples’ eyes to the truth about him in his word and then graciously allows them to recognise him.

“Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him…” (Luke 24:31)

Acknowledging his presence every day through prayer and reading his word, enables us to walk boldly through the day, no matter what lies ahead of us, trusting in his goodness to be with us wherever we are.

“How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you. In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men;” (Psalm 31:19 – 20)

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Sometimes we receive invitations to parties that state ,”Please no presents . just your presence.” Maybe we should apply this to our relationship with God. Thanks Jo once Gain. Love Mary.

    Like

  2. While we might acknowledge that we are always in the presence of God, it seems that we have to leave a little space in our lives to become aware of that presence. You remind me Jo to make that little space – in time and in place.

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories