Recently I shared with a friend about a painful time in my life when I desperately wanted God but couldn't find Him. I mean, I knew in my head that He was with me because my theology told me so. He is omnipresent. He's always with me, that's His promise. But my heart needed Him and found Him conspicuously absent.
My friend suggested we ask Jesus to assure me of His presence and tangible care for me during that hard time. And He did. It would take more words than a blog permits to describe to you how He met me and what that meant to me--so you'll just have to trust me, He did. And He brought solace to my soul.
Since last week when He assured me of His very real presence with me, I've found myself checking in with Him throughout my daily activities. I know You're here, Jesus, but where? Could You please help me see (feel, hear, sense) You right now, in these specific circumstances? And I've been surprised at what He has done. It's not usually dramatic, but it's been sure. He's with me, and He wants me to know it.
God confirmed these things to me again this morning. When I opened my Bible to where the bookmark was--Genesis 28--I read about Jacob when he was facing some frightening circumstances. He'd cheated his brother Esau out of both his inheritance and his blessing, and Esau was mad. Mad enough to kill him. So Jacob was running for his life. And that's when God showed up. He comforted Jacob in a dream, assured him of His ongoing presence, and blessed him. When Jacob awoke, he said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it" (v. 16). Apparently I'm not the only one who--when I needed Him most--wasn't aware of God's presence!
Makes me wonder: How often do we feel fearful and alone when in reality God is right there, ready to bring comfort, presence, and blessing? Sometimes it takes some intense seeking and even some spiritual warfare to cut through the obstacles that keep us from finding Him in our circumstances--that was certainly true for me last week--but He is there. Whether we are aware of it or not. He's with me. He's with you. Will you call out to Him and ask Him to be a heart reality and not just theological fact?