The Lord is indeed going before you—he will be with you; he will not fail you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged!”
–Deuteronomy 31:8 NET
Such simple words, but they sure do mean a lot. “I’ll go with you,” to the doctor, to talk to your kid’s teacher, to the hard place of ministry, to the intimidating conflict. “I’ll go with you,” to the ends of the world.
Instantly, something inside us relaxes, is comforted, reassured. We’re not certain what we think about that feeling. Sometimes it makes us feel weak that we’re not enough to go it alone. We feel that we don’t want to impose on another, that we should not need anyone to “hold our hand.” But other times gratitude wells up, and we smile in acceptance of our own need and their presence. Grace passes between us—Strengthening, enlivening, encouraging.
Is it any wonder that over and over the Lord says in Scripture, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5 NET)? His words let us know that not only does He know us, He understands us. And not only does He understand us, He “stretches out” and goes the distance with us. Because He knows our dislike of weakness. He understands our fear that we are not enough. He sticks with us when we do not stick with ourselves.
What is it like to be with this God? To receive this kind of care…this kind of knowing? Perhaps, like me, words at this point feel inadequate to express both the joy and tension His presence brings. Whichever it is, I can think of few better things on which to ponder this Advent.
I’m so glad we’ll get to think on this together.
ACTION: Is there a time in your life when God felt very near? What was it like? As you enter this sacred space of remembering, tell the Lord what it meant to you that He was there. Receive His continuing presence with you and ask for what your heart longs.