Have you ever had to hop on a plane on a rainy or cloudy day? If it’s a morning flight, it can definitely be a dreary process! Waking up early, umbrellas and Uber, shaking off the rain and checking in your bags; most likely – it’s not your favorite experience. But what I love about it is that after I’ve settled into my seat and we prepare for take-off, the plane ascends off the ramp and up into the sky. And if the gray clouds are low enough, the plane rises above them and all that everyone can see is blue. Beautiful blue sky. Even when we couldn’t see it below, the clear sky was there all along above the clouds.
This reminded me so much of the Lord’s promise of His constant presence in our lives.
There are times where we look out, and it seems like God isn’t as “involved” as he was the day before or in the season before. Maybe you’ve been following Jesus for a while and you are active in your church, active in prayer and reading His Word, and yet right now you feel like you don’t have that same strong connection with Him as you used to. Maybe you just started following Jesus and you are now at this place. Maybe in the past couple months you have found yourself thinking about what you’re going to eat for lunch during worship on Sundays (*yep*) when not too long ago you were going after him so passionately without the struggle. Or perhaps you are currently facing a situation or circumstance so challenging, and everything feels like a mess. And most of all, you just really don’t feel God’s presence.
But then of course, there are the days and seasons where overall, everything seems to go well: the fruits of our efforts in the various areas we’re involved in are visible, relationships are thriving, and we see the Lord’s hand so clearly. Things make sense. And we feel his presence. And so somewhere along the way we’ve connected those two together; that when things make sense, He is present.
A few thoughts…
- That same presence you experienced when you easily saw God at work, is the same presence that is present now. Nothing changed, for He is the same yesterday and today and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8).
- Find comfort in knowing that Jesus is “with us always (Matthew 28:20),” and that He will neither “fail or abandon (Deuteronomy 31:6)” those who call Him Lord.
- While feelings in of themselves are not bad by any means, they shouldn’t dictate our status or relationship with Jesus. Our faith and obedience should as we respond to his love and grace.
- Push through the unknown, awkward, and messy. The Lord will honor your perseverance. Praise Him in the process.
- Don’t become easily discouraged. Just because you don’t “feel Him,” it does not necessarily mean you are doing something wrong. If you are genuinely seeking Him, you will find Him (Matthew 7:7). Believe it. Receive it!
I truly believe that we can be confident and know that He not only here with us – but that he is near, and very much involved in the intricate details of our lives. While we don’t have a physical plane that can help us “ascend” off the ground and away from the troubles we face – we do have the opportunity to put our faith in Jesus and declare His truth in our lives. When we do this, we are able to rise above the clouds, “see the clear, blue sky” that has been there all along and know He is present.
In what ways have you been comforted in knowing God was present, even if you didn’t feel it at the time?
TRUTHS to pray
“If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” – Psalm 139:8
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” – Jeremiah 29:13 (ESV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)