I watched my parents as they made their way through the security line at RDU a few weeks ago. I’m that cheesy person who lingers on the other side of that security line and just waits there until my person or people are completely out of sight. I stand there holding onto that last sight I may catch. Because there’s just something about being with people you love. Presence can’t be replaced.
My mind and heart have been wandering to this topic lately – God’s presence with us. I’ve been finding myself doing some menial task or puttering and pruning in the garden (hello-first-spring-in-new-home-with-beauty-of an-overgrown-garden) and thinking about how close God is to us, with me. Am I really aware of God with me, despite not seeing Him, or feeling Him at times? Do I really believe God is with me all the time?
And I’ve been thinking about the Holy Spirit, He is beautiful, humble, fully God, and our companion. Jesus conveys this when he is hanging out with his guys for the last time before He faces His death. He tells them “ I will ask of the Father and He will give you another Helper that He may be with you forever.” (John 14:16). Helper here also means “one called alongside to help.” I can’t just read over this, I’m compelled to stop and let that set in. God’s Spirit is with us, to help us, always. Jesus continues to tell his friends that the world cannot receive this Spirit of Truth but they’ll know Him because He abides in you and will be in you. Not only is God with us, He is in us!
In this same conversation Jesus is having with His disciples He says “I am the vine, you are the branches”…”Abide in Me and I in you” (John 15:4,5). A vine and its branches – what a picture of being interconnected. It’s clear that God wants to be with us, that He gives us opportunity to be close with Him. I don’t have God’s presence with us even close to figured out but I want His presence with me. He is just so good. I don’t know what it looks like to live in His presence all the time but I will cling onto these verses that say the Holy Spirit is with us, among us and that we can abide in Jesus and He in us.
The other morning I stopped as I was making my bed and looked outside. The dew was still collecting on the leaves outside the window, there was light and life and it struck me… somehow in that very ordinary morning moment I couldn’t help but think of God’s presence there with me.
There’s this account in Genesis 28 of Jacob. He was travelling to another town where his uncle lived and night had fallen – it was time to stop and rest for the night. It simply says “He came to a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set.” To me it just sounds like an ordinary place and it was time to stop and catch some zzzz’s for the night. But something happened in this place while He was sleeping. God revealed Himself and His plans to give Jacob land and descendants. God says to him “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised to you.” When Jacob woke up he said “Surely God was in this place and I did not know it.”
Again, this makes me stop and question. When I’m just doing my ordinary thing could God be there and I am just unaware of it? Is His presence with me, and His promises there as an anchor? I am challenged to abide in Jesus, to know the Holy Spirit as the one who has been sent alongside me, always. I am challenged to draw closer to Him and know His presence with me.
So I’m curious, What does God’s presence with you mean to you? Do you think of the Holy Spirit with you, in you all the time?