My three-year-old daughter doesn’t like to go upstairs by herself, especially at night. If you’re already wondering if this is about how my house is haunted or something, don’t worry… it’s not. She just simply doesn’t feel comfortable and always asks us to stay near if she has to get something or has to go to the bathroom (unless she’s in the tiny play area we recently made for her, in which case she’s fine). It’s ironic because when it comes to everything else, she’s overly independent and never ceases to amaze us with her outgoing personality and surprisingly wide and impressive vocabulary. Okay, proud Mama’s done bragging – back to my point. Often times, she’ll have one of us wait for her at the bottom of the stairs. From upstairs, she repeatedly yells, “Are you still there?” to which we repeatedly answer, “Yes, I’m still here.” She thinks it’s funny when I sometimes reply, “No, I’m not still right here.” While this is nothing new in our house, today was different. As I repeatedly answered, “Yes, I’m still here”, I felt God impressing something on my own heart… “Yes, I’m still here too.”
Just like every other time He gently whispered to my heart, it caught me completely off guard. It actually makes me think of the times I’d be watching TV and a message would abruptly appear on the screen before a weird, siren-like sound followed by, “We interrupt this broadcast.” Being “interrupted” by Him, nonetheless, is always such a delight.
I know He is here. I see His spirit moving within our church plant, within the lives of close friends and family and even in my personal life. In fact, last Friday I was listening to a song in which part of the lyrics mentioned receiving unexpected checks in the mail. I chuckled to myself when I heard it and then said, “Yes, Lord! Please!” Several hours later, when the mail came, lo and behold… there was a very unexpected check in it for almost $400! That never happens to us! My simple and impersonal prayer was already being answered long before the words even left my lips. Even though it’s not about money (we aren’t big fans of the prosperity gospel), what a surreal moment it was, looking at that check. Nevertheless, even knowing all this and watching His plans unfold over and over again all around me, my heart still struggled. I would look at the large pile of my own faults and weaknesses and then at the current state of this fallen world and I’d vulnerably be left wondering, God… are you still there? Are you still with me? Meanwhile, He gives more than enough evidence literally within every second of every day, not only though our lives but through nature; His beloved Creation. However, as His fragile and very needy child, I still find the additional (and personal) reassurance, very comforting – even when it seems to be coming all the way from “the bottom of the stairs.”
If you are wondering today whether or not He is still there, know that He absolutely is. But even when we don’t feel Him as close as we’d like to, we must remain diligent in taking appropriate steps in order to grow closer to Him. Perhaps it’s even a test. Get on your knees in passionate prayer and worship, dig into your bible fervently and stay closely connected with other believers. If you are going through an exceptionally rough time, He is especially near you. His Word says He is close to those who are brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). In addition, He says He will never leave nor forsake us (Joshua 1:5, Deut 31:8).
He is still there…
I’ll close with one more special verse, but I encourage you to seek out additional scriptures during your reading.
“God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” – Acts 17:27
God bless you, my beautiful friends! I pray this post was an encouragement to you 🙂