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One of the things I learned in my education classes was the importance of being on the level of students. Especially younger students. By doing something simple like sitting on small chairs with the kids, or sitting on the floor with them or kneeling down to talk to them when serious conversation was needed worked wonders. Physical presence bridged the age/size gap.

I like to think the verse in Proverbs is God’s way of kneeling down to our level to reveal himself to us.

“Ears to hear and eyes to see— both are gifts from the Lord.” Proverbs‬ ‭20:12

Listening and seeing are the two senses that speak the loudest to us. Many religions offer gods that we seek after but are impossible to relate to. But not Jehovah God. He has shown himself in the beauty and wonder of creation; he has shown his power in the storm and his gentleness in the rose petal; and most importantly he has shown his character and love through his son Jesus.

He promises that he will reveal himself to those who seek him, The more you search for him, through his love letter, the Holy Bible; the more you get to know him through his son, Jesus Christ, the more you will sense his presence.

This promise is especially comforting during those times when life is a mystery and the future is cloudy because we know who is ultimately in control. His peace is most evident in the storm!

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34

In Old Testament times the Ark of the Covenant symbolized the very presence of God. For years the Ark had sat virtually ignored in a field outside Jerusalem. David made two attempts to bring the Ark home. The first attempt led to disaster, but in 1 Chronicles 16 the Ark is finally brought to the City of David, its rightful place. The entire city joined in the celebration with music and dancing. God was back on His throne and the people were ecstatic!

David wrote a praise that Asaph, the temple worship leader, led the people in. The song was full of praise and worship to God for His faithfulness throughout the years. God had done exactly as He said He would do in spite of Israel’s inability to follow God.

There is a story behind the scenes each of us needs to be aware of as we travel through life. When the Ark was gone it was as though God’s blessing was absent. The people still went about their daily duties. Worship still happened on a limited basis, but there was something missing, the true presence of God.

Because of Jesus we can experience the presence of God at anytime and anyplace, any time of the day. Unlike the days of King David, we don’t need to rely on an ‘ark’ or a church building to worship God. He is always with us, always loving us, always ready to hold us in His everlasting arms of love.

Sometimes we can feel the way David did when the Ark was gone, as though the presence of God were missing in our lives. It’s easy to let things get in the way of our worship of God and the sense of His presence in our lives. It’s as though we have left Him in the field just as Israel left the Ark in the field. We know He is there. We think of Him occasionally through the day, but have no real meaningful communication with Him.

Many things can cause us to ‘leave God in the field’. For some it’s due to a hectic schedule. We have jobs to get to, friends to visit, school to attend and children to raise. The busier we get the more likely we are to neglect the most important thing: our relationship with God.

We leave God in the field when we become disappointed. Our disappointment may be with people when they let us down. This is especially true when people who claim to be ‘christian’ act nothing like Christ. We get burned by their religious bigotry and hypocrisy

Our disappointment may be with God Himself. We pray and get no answers. We read and don’t understand. Religious ritual becomes a meaningless waste of time and energy we would rather use on the golf course or with friends.

God doesn’t move away from us. We move away from Him in subtle, almost undetectable ways. The beauty of the situation is that we can bring God out of the field. He is always there waiting. His love never fails us. His compassion and mercy are there for us. He doesn’t hold grudges.

As Christ-followers it is imperative that we take God out of the field and bring Him into a prominent place in our lives so that we can feel His presence in a real and marvelous way. Make time on a daily basis to have some honest communication with God. Read His word. Talk to Him as you would a loving father or best friend. He’s in the field waiting for you now. He doesn’t care about ‘why you left Him in the field.’ He just wants to be a vital part of your life.  

PRAYER: Father God. I’ve known You were in my life somewhere, but I have missed your presence. I realize today that I’ve let all sorts of things get in the way of our relationship. I don’t pray the way I used to. My Bible has dust on it. I miss you. I’m coming to the field. I ask that you will come back with me. I want to restore the passion I once had to follow you. I can’t do it alone. Empower me with your presence to get over the hurt I feel because of disappointment with You and others. Cleanse me from the emptiness of religion and fill me with relationship with you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Imagine for a moment your day starting like this.

You groggily reach over to hit the snooze ‘one more time’.  A few extra minutes will seem so good. As you do, you notice the room is filled with an eerie sort of a glow. You look over in the corner and notice a glowing shape sitting in the corner. No chair, it’s still sitting in the corner.

Even though you are only half awake and should be scared out of your wits, something you see in the face of this person not only keeps fear away, but peace and love flood your very soul. You’ve never seen an angel before, but you know this is no angel. This….is GOD!

Before you can speak, He does. “Good morning sunshine!” He says in a gentle, yet firm voice.

You stumble for words and the first words from your mouth you desperately wish you could pull back, but it’s too late. “How long have you been here?” What a stupid thing to ask God.

“I’ve always been here. Watching you all night long. Walking by your side during the day. Cherishing every moment we have together. But today I decided you needed a reminder that I’m real and I’m here.” He moves to the side of your bed and sits beside you, placing His hand gently on your shoulder. “I want you to know that I’ve got your day prepared for you. I’ve looked over every moment and know exactly what is going to happen. There will be some things that concern you, some that trouble you and there will be times that you even doubt my existence. But don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere and everything will work out EXACTLY as I have planned.

“Um, okay” You say as a sick feeling comes across your mind. “About yesterday….I didn’t mean to think those thoughts and I don’t know how I ended up on that website, and I never would have said those words if…”

He lifts your head so that you look Him square in the eyes. You have never seen love like this, or understanding, or compassion. “It’s okay. I know. We talked about this last night before you went to bed, remember? It’s a new day now. I love you. Now come on. You know how rush hour can be. We need to get going.”

A little farfetched? From a human standpoint maybe. But right in the middle of the book of Lamentations, a book that lives up to its name. A book full of sorrow and agony, there’s this little tidbit of truth, a gem sparking in the darkness. God loves you. Every night He watches you sleep. He walks with you throughout your day. He hears the words you speak, sees the sights you see, and is part of every thought that crosses your mind.

Regardless of where you take Him or what you let Him see or hear, or how often you completely forget about His presence, He is there watching, guarding and protecting. Every morning He longs for you to spend some time with Him. He loves you and His love starts out fresh, new and hot every day.

PRAYER: Father God, I praise you for the fact of your presence in my life. I worship you for the fact that you have gone on before me in everything that I do and that nothing in my day today, or any day, surprises you. Forgive me for some of the places I’ve taken you, the words I’ve let you hear or the thoughts you’ve been a part of. Thank you for your love. Help me to ‘see’ your presence throughout my day. Amen.

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February 2023
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