Psalm 16:11 – You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (ESV)
My sister-in-law and family recently had my children for a sleepover so that we could clear up the caravan on our return from our holiday. Whilst I was glad to have the time to mothball the caravan, I missed my children.
As a stay-at-home dad of 62 years of age and for the second time around, with two children of seven and nine, I value their presence with me. I love all my children, individually unique, and I miss them when they are not around. So, when they came into the house searching for daddy, we were all joyful. It made me think of how in the beginning, the relationship between God and His creation was originally good.
Genesis 3:8 – And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (ESV)
Sadly, in the same manner as Adam and Eve, we have been found missing when God came to treasure us and commune with us, because, in our disobedience, we became distant from God's presence. The creation story shows that it was not meant to be this way.
Like many Christians, I have found that I have often underestimated, belittled, and sold short the grace and love of God, and have settled for less, because I valued my independence. It has taken me years to grasp more completely that God really does love me, that He will meet me at my point of need, and that He requires only a few moments of a sincere heart to receive. The good news is always available, but not always fully comprehended.
I find that God does not tire of us, and I believe that He misses us when we wander off, as much as He wants us to run into His presence when we need His intervention and forgiveness. Like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, He looks out for us daily and wants us to walk with Him. That is why we are created: to be at rest and at peace with Him, as it was in the beginning. Our failure and sin are no longer to be causes of estrangement, because His grace breaks the power of sin.
In any situation, as we dwell in His presence, as our opening text says, there is fullness of joy, a knowing that God holds us close and will not let us go. We can bring Him all our tumults and lay them down. It is not an aspiration, but a gift from a grateful Father to loving children, who know that He misses them when they are not in His presence. Sorrow, pain, and even death's abyss will be gone one day, and we will once more resume walking in the cool of the day, communing with our God.
Prayer: Lord, as we come before Your throne, we ask Your forgiveness for not abiding in You. Imbue us with Your Holy Spirit and grant rest for our beings. May we know the presence of our Abba Father, for You long to see us close by Your side. As we walk with You, please speak Your Word afresh into our hearts and minds. May our spirits be overwhelmed with the joy of being with You always, even to the ends of the earth. We praise You, in Jesus' name. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "The Love Of God" (Lyrics)