Do You Know God Is With You?

Do you know God is with you?
I was recently reminded of how good that news is.

Dave and I were eating our banana splits at the local
ice cream shop when a family of four
walked past us looking for a place to sit that was out of the sun.

“Join us!” we called.
“There’s plenty of room at our table.”
“Oh, thank you,” said a woman about 45.
She introduced herself as Lupita.
With her was her mother, Juanita,
daughter Lilly,
and her baby granddaughter, Isabella.

It was about 8:30pm on a hot summer night
and Isabella was done.
She wanted nothing to do the ice cream offered her.
From every lap, she reached for someone else.

Fussing and whimpering,
she went from mama,
to grandma to great-grandma
and back again.

“She’s so tired,” explained Lupita,
as she tried to cuddle a squirmy Isabella.
“Where is her blanket?”
“Here in the diaper bag,” Lilly said
in a tone indicating what a long day this had already been.

She pulled out a remnant of fabric
vaguely resembling a blanket.
Isabella reached for it excitedly.
She wasn’t old enough to talk,
but her face told us everything we needed to know.

That beloved piece of material was
her happy place.

She buried her face in it and
curled up in a ball on Lupita’s lap.

All she needed was her security blanket.
You can relate, can’t you?

When you are
over-tired
stressed out,
scared,
worried or
lonely,
you want to be comforted.

When we were little,
many of us had
binkies or blankies
or imaginary friends that
made us feel safe,
comforted us in the midst of turmoil,
or
pacified our fears in the dark.

We don’t get past the need to have security.
We simply exchange binkies and blankets
for alternatives.

While a hookup with a man you hardly know,
a little blue pill,
or a bottle of beer
may hold you steady for a while,
what you really need
is to know God is with you.

Day in and day out,
God is watching over you,
intervening on your behalf,
weaving the fabric of time and circumstances
together to redeem your lousy choices and
develop your character.

You know it in your heart,
when you experience his favor.

You feel him close when
peace falls on you in the midst of a trial.

You sense him when you
reach for your Bible and the book opens to a
verse that addresses your exact need or worry.

God is with you in Spirit, whispering,
“I am with you.”
“I will never leave you.”

He will even be with you in the flesh
if you live in community with the Body of Christ.

Never has there been a time when
God abandons you.

Even if you don’t feel his presence,
you can know he is true to his word.

He proves it over and over.

As the Hebrew nation was
finally preparing to leave the wilderness
where God had been with them
in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night,
for 40 years,
Moses told the people,
“Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
(the nations possessing the Promised Land)
for the Lord your God goes with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
(Deuteronomy 31:6)

I don’t know what you are facing right now.
What fortresses of fear
or armies of giants stand in your way.
I don’t know what worries or trials
are keeping you up at night.

What I do know is
God is with you!

Just like Isabella could relax and rest
once she had her blanket,
you can relax and rest in the knowledge that
God is with you
always.