Some years ago, when one of our sons was about to go away to teach in Africa on his gap year, I was writing a note for him to take with him. I asked the Lord for a word or a scripture that I could put in the letter to encourage him, and all I heard was ‘Immanuel’. Expecting a longer message, I kept on waiting and asking God to speak to me. All I continued to hear was ‘Immanuel’ - which of course means ‘God with us’ (Matthew 1:22-23). Finally, it dawned on me that this was exactly what God wanted me to remind our son – that God would be with him wherever he went and in all he was going to do. What more would anyone need to know!
As I write this Seed, I sense that there may be people who also need to know that God is ever present and will never leave them. Today’s verse begins with the word “Lo”, which also means “Behold” or “See”. This emphasises the fact that we need to sit up and take note, opening our spiritual eyes to see this truth. Jesus obviously knows that we can easily lose sight of it.
This verse is preceded by Jesus’s commission to His disciples to go into all the world, making disciples, baptising and teaching. If we are to do what Jesus is calling us to do, we definitely need to know that He is with us. We can’t do any of these things in our own strength, nor should we attempt to do so.
We also need to know His presence with us through the trials and difficulties that we all face at different times. Jesus doesn’t promise us a problem free life, but He does promise to be with us through all the struggles. Psalm 46:10 tells us that: ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble’.
So, today, whether you are in the midst of trouble and grief, whether you are busy fulfilling Jesus’s Great Commission, or if you feel that God is far away and nothing much is happening in your life, be assured that God is ever-present and is rejoicing in being with you. Try and take time to be still and know His presence with you (Psalm 46:10).
Prayer: Lord, I’m sorry for the times when I’ve been busy and pre-occupied in my life and have not been aware of Your presence. Thank You that You’ve promised never to leave me and to be with me always. Help me to be still now and to know that You are my God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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