God is With Us

Friday, August 30, 2002

Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

I'm constantly awed by the times when God has been with me at the most mundane times. Yes, he has been with me and comforted me when I called out in anguish. But what about those times when things are going normally? What about times when minor disasters are averted or projects just seem to fall together in ways that are beyond our own abilities? Those are the times when I know that God is with me every minute of the day.

Today was one such day. A friend called wanting to spend some time together, and a walk by the lake was just what she needed. I quickly agreed. You see, her father is in the hospital. His medications have been removed. His respiration has slowed. The family has arrived. My friend is in need of a little respite.

During our time together, she spoke of her father, of her family, and of the plans that had been made and that would have to be made. I spoke of worship services that I had been blessed by, and what was going on in my family. It was then that I noticed the beauty of a backwater pool that lay between our path and a stone bridge under the highway. The water was still and clear. We stopped for a moment. Then in a playful mood, I did one of those "Hey, watch this!" things. I announced that I could skip a rock twice across the water and under the bridge. I don't know why I chose this particular challenge. It just "came to me".

Choosing a flat stone, I made my first attempt. With all my might and in a side-arm motion, I hurled the stone. It hit the middle of the pool and skipped only once. It didn't even come close to reaching the bridge, much less going under. On my second attempt, I chose a slightly heavier rock; maybe the extra weight would help. Unfortunately, no, the outcome was about the same. As I stooped to pick up yet another stone, my friend asked how many attempts I was to get. "How many tries does God give us?" I answered. I'm sure that she thought that we would be there a very long time.

With the new stone in hand, I again launched it with all my might. It landed in just about the same place. But this time it skipped high in the air as if lifted by the sky. It landed right in front of the bridge and skipped two more times underneath, almost making it out the other side.

I couldn't believe it. Two skips and under the bridge. My friend and I rejoiced; we danced; we raised our hands in praise. "Thank you, Lord! Thank you for being with us."

Prayer: Lord, we are awed by your ever-presence with us. You are there in our times of greatest need. You are there in the normal activities of our work and our play. You are the perfect parent. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

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Chris Clark <clarkcj@hotmail.com>
Rio Bravo, Mexico

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