Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Gift of His Presence

Two of the most powerful ways I experience the presence of God in my life are through music & writing. His presence is sweet and I long for more of it every day. I think it's important to try to understand the ways in which we most experience His presence, because His presence satisfies our souls like nothing else. We can continue to try to fill our emptiness with things like relationships, material possessions, activities, career pursuits, our image, food, entertainment, etc. But ultimately, we will always come back to a place of emptiness, a place of need, a place of longing.

I am learning that there are many ways I experience God's beautiful presence in my daily life. One thing I know for sure is that I will not experience Him by following a '3 step how-to guide'. Experiencing Christ's presence is most often a matter of our hearts. What, or Who, am I seeking? When I am persistently, continually, seeking Him, even on the hard, busy days, He is there. Always. This is His promise to us, not something we earn. 

I'm experiencing God lately by being quiet, still and silent before him, through laughter with friends, witnessing the beauty of golden, orange, and red leaves, in a child's precious prayer and pure faith, in God's abundant provision in my life, and over and over again, God is revealing to me how I see Him in the faces of the broken, poor, and oppressed. When I seek my own ways, selfishness ensues. When I seek God's ways, loving others become my priority and I feel His presence and His love.

As I brush my teeth in the morning, I'll often read the words of Sarah Young. She writes a devotional called, "Jesus Calling." On October 4th I read this: "I am the Creator of Heaven and Earth: Lord of all that is and all that will ever be. Although I am unimaginably vast, I choose to dwell within you, permeating you with My Presence. Only in the spirit realm could Someone so infinitely great live within someone so very small. Be awed by the Power and the Glory of My Spirit within you!" It continues to talk about how the Holy Spirit is designed to be our Helper. He is our Source of strength and peace.

This promise, the assurance that Jesus sends us His Spirit, is expressed in John 14:16-17. Jesus says, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate who will never leave you." (Advocate also means, 'comforter, encourager, or counselor'), "He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you." 

God is everywhere and is in everything. When I teach these concepts, in simpler terms, to my kindergarten students, they accept them with such great faith. They don't doubt God's existence, question the mystery of the Trinity, or hesitate in their praise and thankfulness towards God. It is this child-like faith that I seek to have in my own life.

And so as I write this on a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend, I praise the Lord for His presence that is all around us. Like a child in my class said recently, "It's like...we can't see Him and we can't feel Him, but He's just always there." From the mouths of babes. 

Thank you Lord...for all you have graciously given me. But more than anything, thank you for Your Presence.