Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7, NIV*
Crowded, busy and stressed. That’s the short summary of the past week or so. It hasn’t been all bad, just full. When I was at my most tired, and anxiety hovered like those cartoon rain clouds, I kept reminding myself “God is near.”
He so knew I’d need this promise when He brought it to mind a month ago. Isn’t He good to us?
I’ve taken a lot of comfort and strength from knowing God is near, but that’s made me stop and think. He’s near in the good times too. The hard times press us closer to Him, but in the good times we’re in danger of forgetting Him.
He wants us to notice His presence and to delight in being with Him.
In his book, Hidden in Plain Sight, Mark Buchanan calls us to treasure our faith – to spend time with others who treasure theirs, and to beware the danger of sapping our faith through keeping bad company.
Circumstances may do the opposite: good, easy times may sap our faith more than the hard times that force us to cling to God.
Precious Father, thank You for promising to never leave us. Thank You for the privilege of abiding with You. Please teach us to delight in Your nearness just because of who You are – regardless of our circumstances or need of comfort. How wonderful is each moment spent aware of Your presence.