- Henry Prater
God Is Still With Us
I hope all of you are doing well and that today has been a good day. That is my hope, but I also know that is not always the case. Life is not always easy; things do not always happen the way we want them to or at the most convenient of times. This particular season of life seems to have super-sized that for us. When things get tough, we can feel like the Jews of the exile we have been talking about: God has abandoned us.
Though it may feel that way, God is still with us. I was reminded of that today as I read my devotion which included this quote from Madeleine L’Engle, It is when things go wrong, when the good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, that God is most present. We do not need the sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly. There is no such thing as belief without doubt or struggle. In the middle of the struggle, in the middle of the pain, God is there. When we doubt, when we question, God is there. As hard as things are right now, God is still with us. The world will give you a lot of messages right now, but in the midst of them all remember this: God loves you and nothing will change that. Paul wrote in Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As we navigate these days, with the pandemic, the election, school starting back, and so much more; it will be easy to get down on ourselves. When that happens, it can be easy to think that God has left us on our own. In those moments, remember the great love of Jesus, that love that will never leave or forsake us.
Let us pray: Gracious God, as we walk in these difficult times, remind us of your presence and your love. Help us to remember that you are always here with us. No matter how tough, you will always be near us. May we recognize your presence, recognize your Spirit, and draw hope and strength. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.