God Gets My Attention
When the same idea comes at a person from several different sources or angles, the observant person takes note. This happened to me last week.
First event: During devotional time, I read Psalm 124 where David starts with “If the Lord had not been on our side — “ and then he recounts the disasters that would have happened.
Second event: I was reminded of when a tornado and hail had severely damaged our roof. When the construction crew was replacing the roof, the foreman commented to me that it was amazing that our roof had not been leaking since the shingles and underlayment were completely worn out. As I told our preschool daughter about this, I added the lesson that God is always protecting and watching out for us, even when we don’t know it.
Third event: I was reading The Stone and the Glory: Lessons on the Temple Presence and the Glory of God. In Chapter 3, “The Dwelling,” Dr. Harris wrote, “For the first time since the expulsion of Adam and Eve from His presence in Genesis 3, God Himself would dwell in the very midst of His creation. This was totally God’s idea — and highly unexpected.” The Scripture he referenced was Exodus 25:8-9: “Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it.”
God’s presence. He brings safety. He brings security. He brings love and relationship.
As I pondered this, I was reminded of Jesus’ words that He would not leave us comfortless, but that He would send another Comforter, the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 26).
From the beginning of the relationships between God and people, God has pursued and loved humanity. It has always been humanity who has walked away from God’s presence.
God Makes It Personal
So, what does this mean to me personally?
God ALWAYS desires to be with me. No matter how sad I feel, no matter how I mess up, no matter how popular or unpopular I am. His love is consistent and unconditional. He pursues me through his Holy Spirit, drawing and convicting me, reminding me of his forgiveness and grace when I fail and feel like a total failure.
The God of the universe, Creator of ALL wants to be with ME. Allowing this truth to sink into my heart and soul has sustained me in several ways:
1. I feel safe because God is with me.
Like David, when God is with me, I am safe. God protects us from disasters we never knew were at our door. I could tell you many stories, but there is a special one of when God kept our car from going into a deep ravine.
2. I feel secure because God is with me.
Matthew 6 tells us not to worry about what we eat, drink, or wear because our Heavenly Father knows we have need of them. He will provide all my needs as he kept the children of Israel — their shoes nor clothes never wore out, daily bread was provided, and they had a cloud for shade in the day and a fire for warmth at night. I could tell you about the time my husband, two children and I were homeless and how God provided all we needed.
3. I feel loved because God has chosen to be with me.
I felt privileged when our teenage children chose to be at home rather than going out with friends when they knew it was important to me. I felt their love by their choice to be with me. I feel God’s love in the same way — only much, much larger. Jesus left heaven because of his love for me. I can’t really grasp it, yet I know it. I feel it. Like you, my family has faced times when friends or family fail or betray us. Yet God’s love was present.
God Continues to be with Us
God created a beautiful garden for people (Genesis 1:28-31), then He asked Moses to build a tabernacle so He could be in the midst of His people (Exodus 25:8, 22). Then Solomon built a temple for Him to inhabit (1 Kings 8:27-30); next, Jesus came to live among us (John 1:14-18). Now the Holy Spirit dwells with us (John 14:17, Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:14).
“If God were not with us”… Oh, but He is.