“Mom, where’d you go?” My five year old daughter worriedly pressed her face against the protective mesh wall of the trampoline.
“I’m right here, honey. I just stepped around the garage.”
“It was scary. I couldn’t see you.”
I reassured my daughter, “I was right here. I would never leave you.”
With my renewed though never removed presence in the backyard, my daughter confidently launched back into the game.
Where did my daughter find the sudden courage to continue? Very simply, my presence. My presence reminds her of the certainty of my love and goodwill for her. My presence means safety. Not that she won’t get hurt, but that I am near to guide and ensure her best in every situation.
So it is with the Children of Almighty God. In the midst of troubling times, we find courage in the continual presence of our Father.
The Coronavirus has gripped the hearts and minds of the world. International travel is screeching to a halt. Businesses, schools and churches have shut their doors. Shortages have consumers scrambling. Public fears daily intensify with the horrifying spread of color on world and local maps.
We feel small. We feel helpless. We feel alone. Like my daughter, we think: “God, where’d you go? I can’t see you. This is scary.” How does God respond to His children?
God in his paternal love and infinite authority squeezes our hand: “I am with you:”
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. . . . For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you’.” Isaiah 41:10, 13
That authoritative Word is enough, yet God knows our dusty frame. He knows our blind, sheep fear and propensity to unbelief, so He reiterates His presence over and over again reassuring His children with Himself. Because like my daughter, our fears diminish in the company of our Father. His presence communicates the certainty of His love and goodwill for us. Not that we won’t fall, but that the Lord holds our hand (Ps. 37:24), and under His caring and constant watch, we can live with confidence:
He is with us in all places.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
He claims us.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.” Isaiah 43:1-3
He guides us.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
He dwells within us.
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth . . . . You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16
He is with us at all times.
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
He never leaves us.
“For He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’.” Hebrews 13:5-6
Amid these uncertain times, we can possess a confidence the world will find baffling. It’s not ignorance or pride but rather the assurance of God’s presence with us. The certainty of His presence comforts our hearts, and the certainty of His love banishes our fears. So live before Him in the confidence He intends for His beloved children.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.