I was having a discussion with some friends from my bible study, about things that get us down. Someone mentioned the Boston bombings and other suffering that goes on in the world. We all agreed that it can feel overwhelming at times. The sermon that my pastor gave this week was also about suffering. He talked about his experience in Ethiopia and the people he met…real people… real moms like me, real children with leprosy, HIV. On the outside their bodies are wasting away, sick with disease, but on the inside, they have hope… Isn’t that really me as well? He also shared the story of his own personal suffering. The heart attack he had recently, even at his young age and good health. In the midst of that scary moment he could feel God’s presence in a tangible way. When I know someone who is suffering, all they really want is my presence. Not words that I might feel inadequate saying, just me being there. I can remember times when that is all I needed. A hug from my mom after I found out that I had another miscarriage. Visits from friends when I had to be away from my children for a thyroid cancer radiation treatment. Or, when my kids are sick or hurt, they run to me….
“We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:19-20 MSG
Where do I run? If I am being honest, sometimes I run in the opposite direction of where I know I should…
Where do I find God’s presence? Sometimes in the quiet…but also in texts from friends at just the right time to say they are praying for me…a devotional, bible study, or book, with just the right words….A verse He shows me at just the right time…when I pick up my pen to journal and can feel Him speaking to me, words that are not mine, but His.
In His presence I have hope…Hope in His unchangeable promises.
“When God wanted to guarantee His promises, He gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee- God can’t break His word. And because His word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.” Hebrews 6:18 MSG
Dear Jesus, Thank you for Your word. That I can trust in You and Your promises. Even when life feels overwhelming and I don’t have all the answers. Thank you that you are a God who pursues me. And Your love never changes, Amen.