I feel as though God has been drilling this idea of presence into my life recently. Not so much the idea of needing to be more present with where you are at, yet, I recognize I could totally be better at this, but the idea of God’s presence being with me no matter where I am or what I’m facing.
I’ve been going through a lot of changes recently and have honestly felt very stressed and sometimes frustrated by them. Change is hard and all change involves loss of some sort. That loss can lead to grief, which, in my case, looks like a lot of tears. Change is overwhelming and can leave us feeling alone if we aren’t careful.
Yet, in the midst of this change, God has drawn me nearer to Him. I feel myself longing for the one thing in my life that will never change – God. His presence isn’t going anywhere no matter where my journey takes me. If I want to find peace in the middle of the hectic pace of life right now, I must continue to believe the words of Psalm 16:
You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures. ~Psalm 16:11
In God’s presence in abundant joy – no where else will supply my needs like He will. My consistent, abundant joy has one source – God’s unending love. And to experience this love, I must remain still and simply enjoy His presence.
The story of Martha and Mary detailed in Luke 10:36-42 talks about two sisters, one keeping busy and working hard on many tasks, and one who rests and listens. The distracted sister, Martha, finds herself craving affirmation in how busy she is from Jesus. How often do I, too, just want others to see how busy I am and then play the victim asking for help? To this, Jesus responds, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.
AKA chilllll Martha! You’re so busy keeping yourself pre-occupied with tasks and chores and to-do’s, that you are forgetting the one thing that will actually give you peace amidst all this chaos – my presence! Just sit with me and listen to me. Your chores will be there when we are done. Don’t waste this time.
We are all Marthas at times. Driven by expectations and prone to empty pursuits, we struggle to sit still long enough to let truth take root in our hearts. When we are distracted by our to-do lists and striving, may we remember there is only one cure for our weary hearts: the power of Jesus’ presence. Let’s rest at His feet today. ~She Reads Truth
Whew. Ain’t that the truth. I know this time of year can bring transition for a lot of people – graduations, moves, new jobs, weddings – it can all get a little crazy. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or just straight up pissed about the change in your life, remember where your source of true rest and abundant joy will be found today. Take a moment, breathe, and sit in His presence. Carve out space for intentional silence, even if it’s just five minutes. I can’t say I’m an expert at this, myself, but I know that the only thing keeping me sane during the craziness of change is God’s presence.
God allows change in our lives so we can have his presence like never before. So perhaps the first step in making room for unwanted change is acknowledging that it’s in our life because he wants to be in our life more. And if this is true, then there is indeed purpose in the difficulty and pain change brings. ~Kristen Strong